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Astronomer Ed van den Heuvel, emeritus professor at the University of Amsterdam, has been awarded the '2018 Viktor Ambartsumian International Science Prize'. He received the prize together with the Russian astronomers Prof. Alexander Tutukov and Prof. Lev Yungelson, for ‘their pioneering work in the field of research on heavy double stars and in particular the formation of relativistic double stars and sources of gravitational waves. ‘ The prestigious prize comes with an award of 300,000 dollar.


The namesake of the award is the famous Armenian astronomer Viktor Ambartsumian, who was the most prominent astronomer of the former Soviet Union. The prize was established in 2010 in memory of him. Just like the Netherlands, Armenia is a prominent country in the field of astronomy.

The prize

The Viktor Ambartsumian International Science Prize is one of the major international awards in the field of astronomy / astrophysics and related research areas. The prize is awarded every two years to outstanding scientists who have made a significant contribution to science. In addition to the cash prize of 300,000 dollar, the prize consists of a certificate and a medal.

Of the money, 100,000 dollar must be spent on the development of astrophysics and related research areas in Armenia and for Armenian students, and on the popularization of the work of the prize winners.

Van den Heuvel

KNAW member, Spinoza prize winner and Descartes prize winner Professor Edward van den Heuvel is emeritus professor and former director of the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam. Prof. dr. Alexander V. Tutukov and Prof. Lev Yungelson are associated with the Institute of Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.