Kippenhahn Prize for Ralph Schönrich

This year, the annual Rudolph Kippenhahn Prize was awarded to Ralph Schönrich for his paper on „Galactic Rotation and Solar Motion from Stellar Kinematics“, which appeared in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Now working as a Hubble Fellow at the Ohio State University, Ralph Schönrich received the certificate from managing director Simon White end of September.

Bild: Simon White presents the Certificate for the Kippenhahn Preis to Ralph Schönrich

The selected paper, which Ralph Schönrich published as single author, demonstrates three methods to determine the distance to the galactic centre and the solar motion in a model-independent way. These parameters are among the central questions to determine the structure of the Milky Way; however, many classical strategies rely either on local kinematic data or make assumptions on the gravitational field of our galaxy. Ralph Schönrich used a new estimator of absolute galactic rotation, which does not depend on solar velocity.

Unfortunately Rudoph Kippenhahn, former director of MPA and donor of the prize, could not be at the institute in person this year. He was represented by MPA director Simon White, who presented Schönrich with the prize, and by Ewald Müller, who was part of the selection committee. Schönrich's paper was selected in an unanimous decision out of nine applications. In the laudation, Müller mentioned in particular that as an IMPRS student, Schönrich switched topics for his PhD, but still finished his thesis on time and passed his exams with summa cum laude.

Original Publication:
”Galactic Rotation and Solar Motion from Stellar Kinematics“, Ralph Schönrich, accepted by MNRAS