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The 2017 HEAD Mid-Career Prize


The High-Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society has announced that Professor Jon M. Miller of the University of Michigan will receive its 2017 Mid-Career Prize. This award recognizes a significant advance or accomplishment (observational or theoretical) in high-energy astrophysics by an individual astrophysicist within fifteen years of receiving their Ph.D.

Professor Miller is being recognized for his seminal high-resolution X-ray observations of accreting black hole systems, where gas and dust swirls around a black hole, forming a flattened disk. His work has fundamentally advanced our understanding of how strong winds flow from these disks, as well as our understanding of the dynamics of in-falling material produced when a star is torn apart by a black hole, an event known as tidal disruption. 

"The tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes represents a new way to study black holes and accretion disks,” said Miller. “The advances recognized by this award would not have been possible without many excellent colleagues, and the complementary capabilities of the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Swift observatories. This field is positively exploding, and it will be exciting to watch its rapid development in the years ahead."

Professor Miller will deliver his prize lecture at the upcoming HEAD meeting in Sun Valley, ID, which will take place from August 20-24, 2017 (and is within the path of totality of this summer’s total solar eclipse).

More information about the HEAD, AAS, its prizes, and upcoming meetings can be found at and


Megan Watzke