Washington: Dibyendu Nandi of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata has been awarded the prestigious Karen Harvey Prize for 2012 by the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

The first scientist from the Asia Pacific to get the prize, Nandy was awarded for his "advances in the use of kinematic dynamo models to elucidate the typical and atypical solar cycle, and for his outstanding leadership within the solar physics and space climate communities."

The prize, according to an official announcement, is in "recognition for a significant contribution to the study of the sun, early in a person's professional career."

"The main thrust of my discovery is that the sun's memory regarding its past activity is very short. This implies that very long term forecasting of solar activity and space weather is ruled out," he told Asian Scientist Magazine.

Nandi said that he did his research at the IISER and a student from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Bidya Binay Karak, collaborated with him.

Nandi has published a series of papers on solar activity, including one that explained for the first time the disappearance of sunspots. He was the lead author for this paper which was published in the journal Nature.

He is a part of ISRO's Aditya's mission to the sun which is slated for lift off later this year or in 2013.

After obtaining his PhD degree in the field of solar physics from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, he spent seven years in the US working at the Montana State University on various NASA projects.

Established in May 2002, the Karen Harvey Prize honours a solar physicist who was president of the Solar Physics Research Corporation and treasurer of the solar physics division.


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