Planet Hunter Kian awarded the Chambliss Prize

Congratulations to Planet Hunter Kian Jek, who just received the Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award! This is the premiere award for amateur astronomers presented by the American Astronomical Society – and we think it is highly deserved. Many of you know Kian, who works tirelessly on the site and to a large part is responsible for the dramatic success of Planet Hunters. He not only plays a leading role in hunting down planets, but has been responsible as well for much of the work on variable stars that the project has produced. This award is a suitable acknowledgement of his contributions, and we hope it also serves as recognition for all of the Planet Hunters by the American Astronomical Society. When solicited for a comment on the 42 new candidates in the latest Planet Hunters paper, co-author Kian (his third paper!) wrote:

“As someone who grew up with the Apollo moon landings, whose childhood imagination was fired by Kubrick’s 2001 and the original Star Trek, I never had any doubt that planets around other stars existed and that one day we would discover them. But I never dreamed that we would find them in my lifetime, let alone being involved in their discovery. Although there are over 700 discovered since 1996, each new planet opens another door to a strange alien world, some of them we could not even imagine could exist. Planethunters is an exciting project that allows citizens and scientists participate in pushing the final frontier ever slightly further.”