Samuel Harvey Moseley, Jr., Quantum Circuits, Inc., received the 2022 James Craig Watson Medal.

Moseley’s extraordinary contributions to the development of astronomical detectors covering a huge wavelength range from X-rays to the sub-millimeter have profoundly changed our understanding of the universe.

His extensive work on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Cosmic Background Explorer contributed to groundbreaking measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, which show the universe soon after the Big Bang. 

Moseley conceived and led the development the microshutter array, an enabling technology for NASA’s flagship James Webb Space Telescope. This device will allow the telescope to make its most critical spectroscopic observations one hundred times faster, enabling detailed study of the first galaxies to form in the universe after the Big Bang.

Moseley’s accomplishments also include the invention of the X-ray microcalorimeter, a sensitive detector used in X-ray astronomy. He has also worked on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and Japan’s X-ray astronomy missions.

The James Craig Watson Medal is presented every two years for outstanding contributions to the science of astronomy and carries with it a gold-plated bronze medal, a $25,000 prize, and $50,000 to support the recipient’s research. The Watson Medal was established by NAS Member and prolific Canadian-American astronomer, James Craig Watson. Watson is credited with discovering twenty-two asteroids in his lifetime. He published many articles and wrote A Popular Treatise on Comets (1861) and Theoretical Astronomy (1868).


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