National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Mareki Honma Wins ASJ’s Hayashi Chushiro Prize

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Dr. Honma delivering a commemorative lecture on his achievements. (Credit: Astronomical Society of Japan)

Prof. Mareki Honma, Director of NAOJ Mizusawa VLBI Observatory, has received the 2020 Hayashi Chushiro Prize from the Astronomical Society of Japan (ASJ).

He received this award for his “significant contribution to research on the Milky Way Galaxy structure and the direct imaging of the shadow of a supermassive black hole based on Very Long Baseline Interferometry.” This prize particularly recognized the major achievements of the VERA Project, on which Honma has worked for years, and the significant contribution that the EHT-Japan team, which he led, made to the successful black hole shadow image published in April 2019. The lecture event commemorating this year’s prize was held on March 19, 2021, during the 2021 Annual Spring Meeting of the ASJ.

The Hayashi Chushiro Prize is sponsored by the ASJ to recognize innovative achievements that have contributed significantly to astronomy, and this fiscal year marked the 25th anniversary of this prize.

Also, on this occasion, three new items were added to the Japan Astronomical Heritage list, including “the visual zenith telescope and related buildings of the Temporary Latitude Observatory” owned and managed by Mizusawa VLBI Observatory. This is the second listed heritage asset of NAOJ following the 6-m Millimeter-Wave Radio Telescope located in Mitaka Campus.

Along with this year’s Hayashi Chushiro Prize, the ASJ also announced the winners of the 2020 PASJ Excellent Paper Award given to the authors of outstanding papers published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, a peer-reviewed journal issued by the ASJ. Two papers selected this time focused on research using observational data from either the Subaru Telescope or ALMA.

NAOJ will continue to contribute to the promotion and development of astronomy.

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