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Dr. Christine Jones has been awarded the 2009 Marcel Grossman Award

June 15, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Christine Jones of the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has been awarded the 2009 Marcel Grossman Award for her fundamental contributions to the X-ray studies of galaxies and clusters. Her roles in collaborations using clusters to study dark matter and in analyzing the effects of outbursts from supermassive black holes on the intra-cluster gas were also cited. The award will be presented during the Marcel Grossman meeting this July in Paris.

The Marcel Grossman Awards are given at the meetings that bear the same name every three years. These meetings, founded in 1975 by Remo Ruffini and Abdus Salam, are organized with the aim of reviewing developments in gravitation and general relativity with major emphasis on mathematical foundations and physical predictions.

Other recipients of the Marcel Grossmann Award at this year's meeting are Michael Kramer, director of the MPIfR in Bonn and Jaan Einasto, professor at the Tartu Observatory (Individual Awards) and the "Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifique" in France (Institutional Award). Laureates from previous years include John Archibald Wheeler (1988), Stephen Hawking (1991), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1994), Riccardo Giacconi (2000) and Joachim Trümper (2006).

Geographically, Christine has barely strayed from the Harvard campus where she received her AB, AM and PhD degrees in astrophysics, followed by a CfA post-doctoral fellowship and Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows before she joined the Smithsonian at the Center for Astrophysics. Her current research focuses on understanding the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies, including the interaction of outbursts from supermassive black holes with the surrounding hot gas.

The full citation for the award reads:

"Imaging X-ray telescopes allowed a tremendous leap in our understanding of the distribution of hot gas and dark matter in clusters of galaxies, the most massive collapsed systems in the Universe. Although small rocket-borne X-ray mirrors had observed the X- ray emission from the Coma, Perseus and M87/Virgo clusters, only with the launch of the Einstein X-ray observatory, were large numbers of clusters imaged, showing that these very massive structures continue to evolve. Today the high angular resolution of the Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the structure of clusters in great detail. The study of X-ray imaging observations of clusters was pioneered by Christine Jones and her husband and colleague William R. Forman."

More information on the Marcel Grossman Meetings can be found at:

Charles Alcock
Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Acting Under Secretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution

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