Arctowski Medal

Arctowski Medal

About the Arctowski Medal

The Arctowski Medal is presented every two years to recognize outstanding contributions to the study of solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships. The Medal is now presented with an award of $100,000, plus $100,000 to support research in solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships at an institution of the recipient's choice. The Arctowski Medal was established in 1958 by the bequest of Jane Arctowska in honor of her husband, Henryk Arctowski.

Most Recent Recipients

Mats Carlsson and Viggo Hansteen, received the 2017 Arctowski Medal. Working in collaboration, Carlsson and Hansteen led the development of the Bifrost numerical model of the solar atmosphere, a complex, three-dimensional “magnetohydrodynamics” model that has vastly improved our understanding of the physics of the sun, including its dynamic and constantly changing chromosphere, transition region, and corona. 

Carlsson and Hansteen’s multifaceted approach, which combines both modeling and observations, allowed Bifrost to solve decades-old mysteries of the chromosphere, such as the physical mechanisms that drive chromospheric and coronal dynamics and energetics. It has also provided key insights into solar features such as the short-lived bursts of gases known as spicules, the micro solar flares known as Ellerman bombs, chromospheric surges, and coronal flares.

Among its many applications, the constantly evolving Bifrost code has played a central role in NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite project, which is exploring how the solar atmosphere is energized. Read more about their work»


Mats Carlsson and Viggo Hansteen (2017)
For their investigations in radiative transfer, magneto-hydro-dynamics, and plasma physics that has resulted in major advances in chromospheric diagnostics and our understanding of the physical mechanisms that drive chromospheric and coronal dynamics and energetics through the development and use of the Bifrost numerical model of the sun's atmosphere.
Read more about their work»

Alexander J. Dessler (2015)
For his notable imagination in framing many of space science's most basic conceptions about the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field and their interactions with the magnetospheres of earth and other planets at the beginning of the Space Age.
Read more about Dessler's work»

John T. Gosling (2013)
For elucidating fundamental issues in the physics of the solar atmosphere and solar wind, including revealing the "Solar Flare Myth", discovering bi-directional solar-electron streaming and, in the last decade, finding reconnection events in the solar wind.

John W. Harvey (2011)
For major contributions to understanding the sun’s magnetic fields and its interior structure, and for developing the instrumentation that has made these discoveries possible.

Marcia Neugebauer (2010)
For definitively establishing the existence of the solar wind, critical to understanding the physics of the heliosphere, and for elucidating many of its key properties.

Leonard F. Burlaga (2008)
For pioneering studies of the magnetized solar wind plasma from 0.3 to 102 AU, including the recent crossings of the Voyagers of the heliospheric termination shock and their entry in the heliosheath.

Edward J. Smith (2005)
For his pioneering studies of the solar and heliospheric magnetic fields in deep space and of planetary magnetic fields and their interaction with the solar wind.

Roger K. Ulrich (2002)
For recognizing the solar five-minute oscillations as acoustic modes in the solar interior and systematically developing both the theory and the observations to establish today's precise standard model of the solar interior.

Arthur J. Hundhausen (1999)
For his exceptional research in solar and solar-wind physics, particularly in the area of coronal and solar-wind disturbances.

Raymond G. Roble (1996)
For his indispensable contributions to understanding the effects of variable solar inputs on the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere by powerful global modeling techniques.

John A. Simpson (1993)
For his pioneering studies of the properties of the charged particle environment of the Sun, the Earth, and the other planets.

Peter A. Sturrock (1990)
For major contributions to the understanding of solar magnetic activity, especially with regard to the genesis and effect of solar flares.

John A. Eddy (1987)
For his demonstration of the existence and nature of solar variations of long term and the consequences of these changes for climate and for mankind.

William E. Gordon (1984)
For his pioneering development of theory and instrumentation for radar backscatter studies, which opened a broad field of research in the high altitude ionosphere.

Thomas M. Donahue (1981)
For his fundamental contributions to understanding the role of solar radiations in the physics and chemistry of the atmospheres and ionosphere of the Earth, Mars, and Venus.

John R. Winckler (1978)
For his outstanding research on the solar modulation and acceleration of high energy particles and the discoveries of solar flare gamma rays and auroral X-rays.

Jacques M. Beckers (1975)
For his extraordinary originality and achievement in the discovery and study of exotic small-scale phenomena in the Sun.

Francis S. Johnson (1972)
For his pioneering work in the physics of the high atmosphere and space.

Eugene N. Parker (1969)
For his comprehensive and imaginative contributions to the theoretical understanding of plasma interactions with the solar and terrestrial magnetic fields.

J. Paul Wild (1969)
In recognition of his many and comprehensive contributions to solar radio astronomy.


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