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Cambridge author scoops coveted Astronomical Society Award

British astronomer and Cambridge author, Ian Ridpath, has won the prestigious Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) in recognition of his work in communicating astronomy to the wider public. Professor William Gutsch, President of the ASP, presented the award at the RAS Ordinary Meeting on 12 October 2012.

Ian is a full-time writer, editor, broadcaster and lecturer on astronomy and a long-standing Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is author or editor of more than 40 books, including The Monthly Sky Guide, (with Wil Tirion) which is published by the Press. A ninth edition of the book is due out in December.

Ian has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programmes on radio and television, discussing developments in astronomy and space or describing what can be seen in the sky. He was space correspondent for LBC Radio and for BBC TV Breakfast Time programme before moving to Sky News.

The Klumpke-Roberts Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy and is open to "individuals involved in science, education, writing/publishing, broadcasting, astronomy popularization, the arts, or other pursuits" from all nations and is the most prestigious award of its kind. Previous winners include Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov.

President of the ASP, Professor William Gutsch said: "For three decades Ian has been one of the most respected and widely published authors in the popularization of astronomy. His contributions to astronomy education comprise a rich catalogue of accessible books, articles, television and radio appearances and lectures. His many popular sky atlases and guides have gone through a number of editions and are considered models of clarity and facility of use.”

The Monthly Sky Guide (9th edition) by Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (9781107683150) is published by Cambridge University Press in paperback, price £11.99

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