News & Events

 September 2, 2014

Kyoung Hee Kim wins 2014 Graduate Student Prize of the Astronomical Society of New York

Transitional Disks and Their Origins: An Infrared Spectroscopic Survey of Orion A

Kyoung Hee Kim, Ph.D. '13, has won the 2014 Graduate Student Prize of the Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY). The award was made mainly on the strength of her article, Transitional Disks and Their Origins: An Infrared Spectroscopic Survey of Orion A, which appeared in The Astrophysical Journal in 2013 June, and which was also the centerpiece of her Ph.D. dissertation. In this work Dr. Kim presented her ground-based and Spitzer Space Telescope spectroscopic observations of 105 protoplanetary disks around very young stars (0.7-3 Myr) in which she identifies large radial gaps. She concluded, among other things, that these gaps are wakes left in the disk by infant Jupiter-like planets recently formed therein, planets currently beyond the grasp of astronomical imagers. These objects comprise the youngest collection of planetary systems currently known to astronomers.

Dr. Kim received her Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy in the summer of 2013. Her thesis work was carried out under the directrion of Prof. Dan Watson. She is currently a KASI Postdoctoral Fellow at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejeon, ROK. Her prize includes an honorarium and an invitation to present a keynote talk at the ASNY general meeting this October.

This is the second consecutive year in which ASNY has bestowed their signal graduate-student honor on a UR astrophysicist. The 2013 prize was awarded to Dr. Mark Pecaut, Ph.D. '13.