Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni awarded prestigious Dan David prize for his work in astronomy

Mr Kulkarni, who is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, built the Palomar Transient Factory, with which he conducted a large-area survey of the night sky in search of variable and transient phenomena.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 18, 2017, 11:40 AM IST
Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni awarded prestigious Dan David prize for his work in astronomy
Image credit: Dan David Prize/Facebook

New Delhi: Indian scientist and astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David prize for his work in the field of astronomy.

Mr Kulkarni, who is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, built the Palomar Transient Factory, with which he conducted a large-area survey of the night sky in search of variable and transient phenomena.

He is a pioneer and leading figure in time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum.

The survey has turned up thousands of stellar explosions, transforming our knowledge of the transient sky.

Three Dan David prizes of USD 1 million each are given every year in the categories of "Past", "Present" and "Future" to people around the world who have made outstanding contributions to humanity in the sciences, humanities, or through their work in civil society.

The recipients in the "Past" category are generally drawn from the field of history, archaeology, paleontology, biography, etc; the "Present" from arts, media, policy, economics, etc; and the "Future" from one of the exact or natural sciences.

Kulkarni was awarded in “Future” category, which is dedicated to astronomy and will be shared by Andrej Udalski of the University of Warsaw and Neil Gehrels of NASA for their discoveries on time-domain astrophysics.

Shrinivas Kulkarni

(Shrinivas Kulkarni is a pioneer and leading figure in time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum. Image credit: Dan David Prize/Facebook)

The USD 1 million prize is a joint international enterprise endowed by the Dan David Foundation headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

With this honour, Kulkarni joins other prominent Indian laureates of the Dan David prize such as author Amitav Ghosh, music conductor Zubin Mehta and renowned chemist CNR Rao.

The honour will be conferred at a festive awards ceremony in Tel Aviv on May 21 in the presence of the laureates.

Kulkarni has also received many awards including the NSF's Alan T Waterman Award in 1992, Helen B Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 1991, and Jansky Prize in 2002.

He was born to surgeon Dr RH Kulkarni and Vimala Kulkarni in a small town of Kurundwad on October 4, 1956 in southern Maharashtra.

The indian scientist is known for making key discoveries that open new sub-fields within astronomy, using wide range of wavelength in observation.

(With PTI inputs)