Smadar Naoz awarded Annie Jump Cannon prize

The 2015 American Astronomical Society Annie Jump Cannon Prize for outstanding research and promise for future research has been awarded to Dr. Smadar Naoz of the Astronomy Division for her strong and path-breaking contributions in the separate fields of cosmology and planetary dynamics.

Her originality and critical thinking enabled her to show that the Kozai-Lidov formalism for the dynamics of three-body systems, studied for many decades by leading dynamicists worldwide, had an error in its implementation.

Dr. Naoz’s revisions have important implications for the evolution of triple systems, in particular she pioneered the application to explain the surprising observations of many “hot Jupiters” with orbits that are eccentric or highly-inclined relative to the equator of their host star, and some with retrograde orbits. 

In a paper published in Nature, Dr. Naoz showed that the presence of an additional, moderately-inclined and eccentric, massive planet in the system can naturally explain the tight, inclined, eccentric orbits that are observed. For the first time, Dr. Naoz provided a complete and accurate treatment of the secular dynamics of such a system.