Farinella Prize 2019 – Citation

Farinella Prize 2019 – Citation

The 2019 Farinella Prize is awarded to Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo for their extraordinary and influential observations of the outer solar system.

Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo are conducting some of the most exciting research in observational planetary astronomy. Their special focus on the Kuiper belt holds great relevance to understanding the origin and evolution of our system.  By pioneering a series of deep, wide-field optical sky surveys, they have both reinforced our growing perception of the Kuiper belt, and extended the known space to ever larger distances.  The record is held by their discovery of 2012 VP113, with a perihelion at 80 AU. Famously, in 2014, they reported that the orbits of high-perihelion objects are distributed non-randomly, and suggested that the observed alignment might be caused by the gravity of an unseen super-Earth type planet.  While still unconfirmed, this possibility has galvanized the attention of both the scientific community and the public.  Together, Sheppard and Trujillo have also unveiled the Neptune Trojan population, finding objects with unexpectedly high orbital inclinations and triggering a burst of theoretical work to explore their possible origin and capture.

Committee:

Antonella Barucci, Obs. Paris (France)
Adriano Campo Bagatin, UA (Spain)
David Jewitt, UCLA (California)
Alessandro Morbidelli, OCA (France)
David Nesvorny, SWRI (Colorado)
Dina Prialnik, TAU (Israel)
Leslie Young, SWRI (Colorado)

(7 nominations considered)

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