PHILIP SCHERRER, professor (research) of physics and senior fellow at the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, has received the 2019 George Ellery Hale Prize from the Solar Physics Division the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
Scherrer’s research focuses on solar cycles, the sun’s interior and how the sun’s activity affects Earth. AAS recognized Scherrer for his development of tools to study magnetic fields and oscillations on both the surface of the sun and its interior, as well as his groundbreaking work in space weather. He is a key figure for using instruments on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to measure changes in the magnetic field on the sun’s surface. Scherrer, who was inspired to become a scientist in the years following the launch of Sputnik, was also lauded for his leadership and dedication to the field and broader community.
The Hale Prize has been given annually for over four decades to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy. It is named in memory of George Ellery Hale, best known for his discovery of magnetic fields in sunspots and the design of several telescopes, including two at Mount Wilson Observatory.
In addition to being enthusiastic about the recognition for his work, Scherrer says that he enjoys supporting science outreach.
“The fun is in getting the data out there,” says Scherrer. He added that his personal mantra is to do good science and tell others, not to keep it to himself.