Astronomers Win NASA Award
Professors Scott Gaudi and Andy Gould, Postdoctoral Researchers Matthew Penny and Radek Poleski, and former PhD student Calen Henderson, are part of a 17-member international team who received NASA’s highly competitive Group Achievement Award for significant contributions to NASA's mission. These Ohio State astronomers played a critical role in the design and execution of NASA’s K2 Campaign 9 Microlensing Science Experiment Survey, the first blind microlensing survey conducted simultaneously from Earth and space. This enabled probing several relatively unexplored populations of celestial objects, including the frequency of free-floating exoplanets — not gravitationally tethered to any host star — along with abundant exoplanets throughout our own Milky Way Galaxy. Gould, a decades-long advocate for such measurements, was pivotal in making it happen. Gaudi, Penny, Poleski and Henderson were instrumental in designing and preparing for the survey.