The new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI)—formerly the NASA Lunar Science Institute—presented William K. Hartmann, Senior Scientist and co-founder of the Planetary Science Institute, with the annual Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award at the 2013 virtual Lunar Science Forum, held July 16-18, 2013 from NASA Ames Research Center.
“It’s an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Gene Shoemaker, who did so much to increase our understanding of asteroid impacts and craters like Arizona’s Meteor Crater,” said Hartmann.
The Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award is an annual award given to a scientist who has significantly contributed to the field of Lunar Science throughout the course of their scientific career. The first Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award was given posthumously to Dr. Gene Shoemaker and presented to his wife Carolyn for his many contributions to the lunar geological sciences. The award was subsequently named after Dr. Shoemaker and includes a medal with the Shakespearian quote “And he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night.” Last year’s Shoemaker award was presented to Stuart Ross Taylor.
“In view of his many fundamental and far-reaching breakthroughs in lunar science such as his discovery of multi-ring impact basins—including Orientale basin—Dr. Hartmann is exceptionally deserving of this medal,” said Yvonne Pendleton, director of the Institute. “We are proud to present him with this honor.”
William K. Hartmann is an internationally known scientist, painter, and writer, and winner of the first Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society. A former graduate student of Gerard Kuiper, he holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy and M.S. in Geology, both from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University. Bill discovered multi-ring impact basins with concentric and radial structure on the Moon, including the Orientale basin on the east limb of the Moon. In 1965 he used crater counts on the Moon and Earth to successfully predict the age of lunar lava plains at 3.6 x 109 years; the date was confirmed five years later with Apollo samples from the Moon. He was lead author, with D. R. Davis, of what has become the most widely accepted theory of the origin of the moon, by impact of giant planetesimal at the end of the planet-forming era.
Bill has researched Mars extensively as well. He served as a Co-Investigator on the Mariner 9 mission, which first mapped Mars in detail. With Bruce Murray, Carl Sagan, and others on the imaging team, he discovered Mars’ dry river channels, volcanoes, and other features. He currently serves on the Mars Global Surveyor imaging team.
Bill worked with Dale Cruikshank, David Tholen, and others to recognize that comets have similar black surface materials (4% reflectivity) to those on outer solar system asteroids. This research also yielded proof that Trojan asteroid 624 Hektor was one of the largest highly elongated bodies in the solar system, and the discovery that “asteroid” 2060 Chiron had erupted and turned into a comet. This work recognized that comets and asteroids could no longer be considered as independently as had been previously thought. Asteroid 3341 was named after him.
He is an internationally recognized painter of space art. Arthur C. Clarke wrote “I consider him to be the direct successor of the late, great Chesley Bonestell,” the father of space art. Hartmann’s astronomical paintings have been published in magazines ranging from Natural History, Smithsonian, and Astronomy in the U.S. to the London Economist and other magazines in Japan, Russia, France, Germany, England, and Italy. They have also been shown in exhibitions in New York City, Berkeley, Pasadena, Hawaii, and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, as well as internationally in Moscow, Montreux, Yalta, and elsewhere, and are in collections the U.S., Paris, and Moscow. They have also been used to illustrate books by Carl Sagan and other authors, as well as his own books on astronomical and space themes. Bill was commissioned twice to create paintings for the NASA Fine Arts Program (Galileo space probe launch and Mars Observer Mission), and had two paintings flown on the Russian Space Station, Mir, in 1992.
A prolific writer, he has authored three widely-used textbooks on astronomy, and also co-authored and co-illustrated five pictoral books of space art. He has written two novels and published two books sharing his love of western deserts. His immensely successful “A Traveler’s Guide to Mars” sold out its first 30,000 copies and went into a second printing within two months. In 1992-95 he headed an effort for the Planetary Society and National Science Teachers Association to incorporate planetary science materials into the grade 6-12 curriculum. His book of lessons, “Craters!” was published in 1995 by the NSTA.
Other notable awards include:
• 1966 Nininger Meteorite Award for work on lunar and terrestrial cratering.
• 1998 First recipient of Carl Sagan Medal from American Astronomical Society for popular writing and astronomical paintings.
• 2002 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
• 2002 Co-winner of the Runcorn-Florensky Medal from the European Geophysics Society, for work on Mars cratering chronology.
• 2002 Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award from the International Association of Astronomical Artists, for lifetime contributions to astronomical art.
• 2004 G.K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America for outstanding contributions to the solution of fundamental problems in planetary geology.
• 2007 Election to International Academy of Astronautics as Corresponding Member in the Social Sciences section, in recognition of astronomical artwork and writing.
• 2010 Recipient of Barringer Medal from the Meteoritical Society for research into impact craters, discovery of the Orientale Basin on the moon, work on lunar origin theory, etc.
About the Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Medal
The Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Medal is an annual award given to a scientist who has significantly contributed to the field of lunar science throughout the course of their scientific career. The first Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award was given posthumously to Gene Shoemaker and presented to his wife Carolyn Shoemaker. The award includes a medal with the Shakespearian quote “And he will make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night.” The second Shoemaker medalist was Don E. Wilhelms (2010), the third was G. Jeffrey Taylor (2011), the fourth (2012) was Stuart Ross Taylor, and the fifth was Bill Hartmann (2013). The prize is presented at the annual Lunar Science Forum held each July, sponsored by the NASA Lunar Science Institute. Information on past medalists can be found here.
Gene Shoemaker was one of the pioneers of lunar and planetary geoscience, who inspired a generation of researchers studying the solar system. During a long career, he worked primarily for the U.S. Geological Survey in California and Arizona, with frequent associations with NASA and Caltech. His earliest work was at Meteor Crater, where he analyzed in detail the formation process for impact craters. From there it was a logical step to lunar research, and to a senior science advisory position with the Apollo program. Gene used the extensive lunar data obtained by Apollo as a stepping-stone to illuminate broader issues in planetary science. He was especially interested in using cratering rates to develop consistent chronologies for the Moon, the Earth, and the inner planets. To obtain critical data on contemporary impact rates, he retrained himself in observational astronomy and devoted many years to asteroid and comet hunting, becoming an expert on the Near Earth Asteroids. Gene also played a lead role in identifying and quantifying the hazard to Earth from impacts by comets and asteroids. As a member of the Imaging Science Teams on the Voyager and Galileo missions, he extended this work to the numerous moons of the outer planets. Gene never forgot his roots in field geology, and in the last years of his life he devoted energy and enthusiasm to discovering and characterizing impact craters on Earth. He is a shining example for the NASA Lunar Science Institute, which is not limited to study of the Moon itself but uses lunar science as a springboard to understand the nature and history of the planetary system in which we live.
The responsibility for selecting the recipients of the Shoemaker Medal rests with the NASA Lunar Science Institute. Nominations for the medal are welcome from anyone at any time. The nomination should summarize the contributions of the nominee and clearly state the qualifications and rationale for their selection. Nominees should be relatively senior scientists who have devoted much of their life to lunar studies, including research that relates the Moon to broad issues in comparative planetology. The recipients do not need to be U.S. citizens or to reside in the U.S.
The nominal selection process is as follows: In September or October the letters of nomination are collected and distributed to Team Leaders (PIs) for their comments and recommendations. These recommendations guide the Institute director, who makes the final selection. The award itself is presented at the annual Lunar Science Forum.
If you would like to nominate a distinguished lunar scientist for upcoming Shoemaker awards, please send the nominee’s name along with several paragraphs outlining the nominee’s accomplishments and contributions to the field of lunar science to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute
The new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI)—formerly the NASA Lunar Science Institute—was jointly established by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration Office Mission Directorate (HEOMD) to advance basic and applied lunar and planetary science research and to advance human exploration of the solar system through scientific discovery.
The institute replaces the successful NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), inherits the NLSI central office and staff, and continues under the stewardship of Director Dr. Yvonne Pendleton. The new institute links a diverse community of interdisciplinary researchers, and consists of a geographically distributed network of peer-reviewed and competitively-selected teams managed by the small central office located at NASA Ames Research Center.
For more information visit sservi.nasa.gov
Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff