2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize to our reseacher Prof Jaan Einasto


On June 10, 2014 The Gruber Foundation announced the 2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize laureats.  By establishing a connection between observations of the nearby universe with the universe on the whole, Jaan Einasto, Kenneth Freeman, R. Brent Tully, and Sidney van den Bergh pioneered Near Field Cosmology—an area of study that helped establish both that the distribution of galaxies is not random but has a definite structure, and that dark matter played a key role in the evolution of that structure.

Prof Jaan Einasto

The 2014 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize recognizes Jaan Einasto, Kenneth Freeman, R. Brent Tully, and Sidney van den Bergh for their individual roles in the development of Near Field Cosmology.

“We want to recognize their pioneering contributions to the understanding of the structure and composition of the nearby universe,” says Wendy Freedman, chair of the Selection Advisory Board to the Prize.  “Their decades-long observations and analyses of relatively local galaxies have allowed cosmologists—including themselves—to investigate the evolution of the universe on the largest scales.”

The Prize will be presented to Einasto, Freeman, Tully, and van den Bergh in a ceremony at Yale University on October 1, 2014.

Their award-winning work on the nearby universe quietly emerged during a period when cutting-edge cosmology was focused instead on the farthest reaches of the universe.  As recently as the 1920s, astronomers were unsure whether anything existed beyond the realm of stars we call the Milky Way galaxy, but then came two key discoveries. The first, by Ernst Öpik (1922) and Edwin Hubble (1925), is that other galaxies do indeed exist – and today we know they number well over 100 billion. The second, by Hubble (1929), is that those galaxies are, on the whole, moving away from one another— according to general relativity, carried along by the expansion of space itself. Because light from an object takes time to reach us, astronomers realized they might be able to trace the evolution of the universe by looking into the distant past—by examining the infant universe and, epoch by epoch, working their way forward.

This year’s Gruber recipients, however, stayed closer to home—and the present.  Their work has allowed cosmologists to examine the mature universe and work their way backward. Read more ...

Source: http://gruber.yale.edu/cosmology/press/2014-gruber-cosmology-prize-press-release