Dr. Mark Reid has been awarded the 2012 Jansky Lectureship. Reid is being honored for his pioneering work in Very Long Baseline Interferometry as applied to numerous key problems in astrophysics. As this year's recipient, Reid will present public lectures in Charlottesville, Vir., and Socorro, New Mex.
The Karl G. Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of Associated Universities, Inc., to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy. First awarded in 1966, it is named in honor of the man who, in 1932, first detected radio waves from a cosmic source. Karl Jansky's discovery of radio waves from the central region of our Milky Way Galaxy started the science of radio astronomy.
Reid has been a world leader in the development and application of VLBI. He is widely recognized as the father of ultra-high precision VLBI astrometry, and he has used these techniques to answer some of the most important questions in astrophysics.
Perhaps his greatest contribution has been in the field of galactic structure. Reid has made some of the most accurate measurements of the distance to the galactic center. His accurate position and proper-motion measurements of the radio source at the galactic center firmly established the existence of a supermassive black hole at the very center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Previous recipients of the Jansky Lectureship include Frank Drake, the founder of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI); Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, discoverer of the first pulsar; and Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the cosmic microwave background.