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Robert Holmes Wins the 2009 Edgar Wilson Award January 19, 2010

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomers, Astronomy, Comets.
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Bob Holmes is an adjunct faculty member in the EIU Physics department and director of the private observatory Astronomical Research Institute.

2009 Comet Awards Announced

Cambridge, MA – Finding a comet can be a quick way to get some immortal fame — and a little spending money, as well. An annual award of several thousand dollars for discoveries of comets by amateur astronomers has just been announced for five individuals in five different countries.

The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) — operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) — has announced the recipients of the 2009 Edgar Wilson Award for the discovery of comets by amateurs during the calendar year ending June 11. This is the eleventh consecutive year that these Awards have been given; money for the Awards was set aside as part of the will bequeathed by the late businessman Edgar Wilson of Lexington, Kentucky, and administered by the SAO.

The following five discoverers receive plaques and a cash award this year:

  • Robert E. Holmes, Jr., of Charleston, Illinois, for his discovery of comet C/2008 N1 on 2008 July 1
  • Stanislav Maticic at the Crni Vrh Observatory in Slovenia, for his discovery of comet C/2008 Q1 on 2008 Aug. 18
  • Michel Ory of Delemont, Switzerland, for his discovery of comet P/2008 Q2 on 2008 Aug. 27
  • Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, for his discovery of comet C/2009 E1 on 2009 Mar. 14
  • Dae-am Yi of Yeongwol-kun, Gangwon-do, Korea, for his discovery of comet C/2009 F6 on 2009 Mar. 26

Bob Holmes receiving the Edgar Wilson award

The funds available for the first annual Award amounted to approximately US$20000 (twenty thousand dollars), as a total amount to be split among the award winners for that year; in the years since the first Award, the amount of money available has oscillated considerably, usually below, but sometimes above, the first-year amount (evidently due to the investment policies of the bank trustees, which are kept confidential). For the purpose of this Award, the Award year is the period of twelve months beginning and ending on June 11.0 UT. The first Award was for the year ending on 1999 June 11.0. The Award is usually announced within a month after the end of each Award year.



1. Bob Trembley - February 20, 2013

I spoke with Robert Holmes at ALCon2012, and attended one of his lectures on his search for NEOs – Wow! This gentleman is the #2 NEO follow-up confirmation observer in the world (from 1900 to the present). He’s discovered: Comets, NEOs, a trans-Neptunian object, and has even had a asteroid named after him. Robert does a lot of outreach with educators, and makes photographs from his telescopes instantly available to students via a private FTP site.

Oddly, Robert is considered an “Amateur Astronomer;” one of the people in the audience asked: “Why’s that? Because you don’t have a diploma from NASA?” Well, yes, that’s pretty much it…

My blog post about it: http://balrogslair.com/2012/07/07/alcon2012-day-3-report/

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