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1st of June 2023
The Shaw Prize for Astronomy 2023
The Shaw Prize is an annual award that was founded by Hong Kong entertainment mogul and philanthropist Run Run Shaw in 2002. The prize consists of awards in the fields of (i) astronomy, (ii) life science and medicine, and (iii) mathematical sciences. It was announced this week that the Shaw Prize for astronomy for 2023 was awarded to Matthew Bailes, Duncan Lorimer and Maura McLaughlin for their discovery of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), made with the Parkes 64m radio telescope, Murriyang. The citation notes: "FRBs are among the most extreme and mysterious phenomena in astronomy: they are intense bursts of radio emission lasting only a few thousandths of a second that contain as much energy as the Sun emits over several days. The sources of the bursts are smaller than the Earth but are as far away as distant galaxies. In a seminal research paper written in 2007, Bailes, Lorimer, McLaughlin (with collaborators Narkevic and Crawford) found the first FRB; deduced many of the properties of its source, in particular its extreme distance, small size, and enormous energy; estimated the cosmic rate of production of FRBs; and highlighted their potential as cosmological probes. Despite initial scepticism about whether this unique event was a real astronomical source, the work by Bailes, Lorimer and McLaughlin inspired others to search for these elusive events. By now almost a thousand FRBs have been discovered. Telescopes based on novel technologies are being designed and built specifically to find FRBs and identify their host galaxies." (Image credit: www.shawprize.org)

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