05
March
2024
|
10:08 AM
America/New_York

USRA Scientists and Engineers Part of Team that Won the 2024 Prestigious Rossi Award

Washington, D.C. — March 5, 2024. The coveted Bruno Rossi Prize for 2024 was recently awarded to Martin Weisskopf, Paolo Soffitta, and the remarkable IXPE team “for their development of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer whose novel measurements advance our understanding of particle acceleration and emission from astrophysical shocks, black holes and neutron stars.”  

This new image of supernova remnant SN 1006 combines data from IXPE and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The red, green, and blue elements reflect low, medium, and high energy X-rays, respectively, as detected by Chandra. The IXPE data, which measure the polarization of the X-ray light, is show in purple in the upper left corner, with the addition of lines representing the outward movement of the remnant’s magnetic field.

This new image of supernova remnant SN 1006 combines data from IXPE and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The red, green, and blue elements reflect low, medium, and high energy X-rays, respectively, as detected by Chandra. The IXPE data, which measure the polarization of the X-ray light, is show in purple in the upper left corner, with the addition of lines representing the outward movement of the remnant’s magnetic field. Credits- X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO (Chandra); NASA/MSFC/Nanjing Univ./P. Zhou et al. (IXPE); IR: NASA/JPL/CalTech/Spitzer; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.Schmidt

The IXPE endeavor, a collaborative effort between NASA and the Italian Space Agency, boasts a diverse team spanning borders and disciplines. Led by Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf and Dr. Paolo Soffitta, this international collaboration includes scientists and engineers from USRA’s Science and Technology Institute who have been instrumental in the success of this mission.

Currently, USRA’s Science and Technology Institute continues to play a pivotal role in the IXPE mission, supporting its operations center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, and the General Observer Facility at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

With over 100 members hailing from 12 nations, this global collaborative effort has made significant contributions to the field of high energy physics and  propelled our understanding of the universe.  IXPE is even shedding new light on fundamental mechanisms of our own galaxy.

Among the USRA scientists and engineers who have contributed to this effort are:

  • Mr. William (Bill) Cleveland who designs and develops the telemetry data processing pipeline and integrates instrument team software into the pipeline.
  • Dr. Oliver Roberts who plans IXPE's short-term science operations scheduling
  • Dr. Chien-Ting Chen who develops public software tools and helps execute the processing pipeline.
  • Dr. Kiran Kilaru who provided extensive computer modeling both to optimize the design of the IXPE flight mirror module assemblies and to predict ground and on-orbit performance of the IXPE telescopes.
  • Mr. Dylan Maurel and, prior to launch, Mr. Erick Verleye who supported IXPE software development of the processing pipeline, database, mission planning, and the suite of public software tools.
  • Mr. Jagan Ranganathan served as the lead mechanical analyst for the IXPE mirror module assemblies and was responsible for ensuring that the mirror modules would survive the rigors of ground tests, launch and operation in the space environment.
  • Dr. Douglas Swartz serves as IXPE's liaison to the public-facing General Observer Facility at GSFC.

Congratulations to all on this award! 

Additional Resources: https://www.nasa.gov/missions/ixpe/nasas-ixpe-marks-two-years-of-groundbreaking-x-ray-astronomy/


About the Bruno Rossi Award

The Bruno Rossi Award is an annual award presented by the High-Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The award is named in honor of Italian American experimental physicist Bruno Rossi, who made significant contributions to the field of high-energy astrophysics.

The Bruno Rossi Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of high-energy astrophysics, with an emphasis on recent, significant achievements. This field of astrophysics focuses on the study of celestial objects that emit high-energy radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays. These sources include black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, and other energetic phenomena in the universe.

The award is typically given to individuals who have made groundbreaking contributions through observational, theoretical, or instrumental work in high-energy astrophysics. Recipients of the Bruno Rossi Award have demonstrated excellence and leadership in advancing our understanding of the high-energy processes occurring in the cosmos.