Lupton earns award for work on sky survey

Robert Lupton, senior research staff member in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2005 Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 

The award is given for recent significant observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software or observational infrastructure. Lupton was recognized for his "central and crucial role in the development of software for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey," according to the citation.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is a consortium of more than 200 astronomers at 13 institutions in which Princeton has played a major role. Its goal is to map up to a quarter of the entire sky and to determine the position and brightness of several hundred million celestial objects. In 2004, it released to the public one of the largest catalogs of astronomical data ever produced.

Lupton, who earned his Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton in 1985, has been a member of the University's research and technical staff since 1990. His award, which includes $500 and a plaque, will be presented at the society's annual meeting in Tucson in September.

Founded in northern California in 1889, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific outgrew its regional origins long ago to become a worldwide organization of astronomers and educators.