The German Astronomical Society (AG) awarded Professor Andrzej Udalski from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw the Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2018.
The Karl Schwarzschild Medal is the most prestigious prize in Germany in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. It is given by the German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft) to recognize outstanding scientific contributions.
This year’s award went to Prof. Andrzej Udalski from the University of Warsaw who contributed to the new field of time domain astronomy.
Professor Andrzej Udalski is the leader of the OGLE project – one of the largest sky surveys worldwide, gravitational microlensing, and extrasolar planets.
OGLE has produced top-ranked discoveries across many fields of modern astrophysics for almost three decades. Andrzej Udalski designed and constructed detectors for consecutive phases of the OGLE project. The current phase (OGLE-IV) uses a large new generation CCD mosaic camera with 32 detectors, one of the largest scientific instruments of this type worldwide. Prof. Udalski designed and assembled all aspects of this camera – the mechanical parts, electronics, software, and the interface with the Warsaw Telescope, located at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. He also implemented the data pipeline software and the efficient real-time data analysis systems, including the Early Warning System, very successfully used for the real-time detection of gravitational microlensing events since 1994. The application of such massive photometry went well beyond the detection of microlensing events, making OGLE one of the largest sky-variability surveys ever undertaken. A vast quantity of data on stellar variability was collected, analysed and made freely available to the astronomical community. The OGLE collection of well characterised periodic variables is the largest in modern astrophysics.
Prof. Udalski is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. He has won several awards, including the prize of the Foundation for Polish Science in 2002, ERC IDEAS Advanced Grant in 2009, and the Dan David Prize.
The Karl Schwarzschild Medal will be given to Prof. Andrzej Udalski next year in Stuttgart.