Pasadena, CA—Carnegie’s Ana Bonaca was awarded the American Astronomical Society’s Helen B. Warner Prize in recognition of her work, which uses our own Milky Way as a cosmological laboratory to explore the evolution of the universe. Each year, the organization selects an early career astronomer within eight years of completing a Ph.D. who is significantly advancing theoretical or observational astronomy research.
Bonaca specializes in stellar dynamics and she aims to uncover the structure and evolution of our Milky Way galaxy and the dark matter halo that surrounds it. Complementing her theory work, Bonaca uses both space- and ground-based telescopes to measure the motions of stars and reveal how they are affected by dark matter. In announcing the award, AAS praised Bonaca for her “innovative advances in our understanding of the hierarchical formation of the Milky Way and constraints on the galactic potential.”
Bonaca joined Carnegie in 2021 from Harvard University, where she held a prestigious Institute for Theory and Computation fellowship. Prior to that she completed her Ph.D. in astronomy at Yale University and master’s degree in Physics from the University of Zagreb.
“Congratulations to Ana on this well-deserved prize,” said Observatories Director John Mulchaey. “Her creative approach to advancing our understanding of the forces that shape our galaxy and our cosmos make her an ideal Carnegie astronomer. It is good to see the AAS recognize her with this prestigious award.”