The Bruce Medalists


  Portrait Photo 2011, courtesy Prof. Haynes
Martha Patricia Haynes
1 January 1951 2019 Bruce Medalist

Martha Haynes was born in Boston. She earned her B.A. at Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in 1978 at Indiana University, where her thesis, supervised by Morton S. Roberts at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Martin S. Burkhead, was titled "An Investigation of the Intergalactic Medium via the 21 cm. Line of Neutral Hydrogen." After postdoctoral research at the Arecibo Observatory, she became an assistant director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Since 1983 she has been on the faculty of Cornell University, where she is currently the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy. While an expert in radio astronomy techniques, she has also observed and used datasets from optical, infrared ultraviolet and X-ray bands to study galaxies and clusters of galaxies. She and her colleagues, especially her spouse, Riccardo Giovanelli, and a large number of Ph.D. students, have specialized in the investigation of the formation, evolution, and content of galaxies. They have studied abundances of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen as well as overall gas abundances, and they have related these to the morphology, color and rate of star formation of the galaxies. They have compared the properties of galaxies in everything from rich clusters to loose groups and in isolation. They have used observations of the 21-cm line of neutral atomic hydrogen to determine radial velocities of galaxies to map out supercluster structures in the local universe. They have used the Tully-Fisher relation to determine the opacity of galaxies and their disks as well as to measure deviations from the smooth Hubble expansion and trace the dark matter distribution of large scales. She was one of the leaders of ALFALFA, the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey, where ALFA stands for Arecibo L-band Feed Array, the instrument attached to the 305-m radio dish to detect radio signals from 7 directions in the sky simultaneously. This project ran from 2005 to 2012 and collected data on the neutral hydrogen gas content of some 31,500 extragalactic sources, most of them galaxies. Follow-up observations are continuing with undergraduate students from many institutions participating. This reflects Haynes' strong commitment undergraduate education, where she has been a leader at Cornell. She currently is one of the leaders of the CCAT collaboration building the CCAT-prime wide-field submillimeter telescope on Cerro Chajnantor in Chile.

ORCID entry

Personal Web Pages
At Cornell University
At Cornell University

Other awards
National Academy of Sciences, Henry Draper Medal, 1989 (with Riccardo Giovanelli).

Some offices held
International Astronomical Union, Vice President, 2006-12.

2006 birthday party, with Riccardo Giovanelli, by Karen L. Masters

Named after her
Minor Planet #26744 Marthahaynes

More references

The Bruce Medalists

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