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Katia Moskvitch wins European Astronomy Journalism Prize

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 September 2012 14:22
Published on Thursday, 06 September 2012 13:51

BBC technology correspondent Katia Moskvitch has won the first European Astronomy Journalism Prize. The award, announced at a reception at the House of Commons,  sees her receive a trip to the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile in the spring of 2013.

The Science and Technology Facillities Council (STFC) and European Southern Observatory (ESO) ran the competition in association with the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). Entrants were invited to submit written and broadcast material for consideration by a panel of judges from the four organisations.

ESO AWARD_STFC_019Prize winner for excellence Robin McKie, overall winner Katia Moskvitch and highly commended Maggie McKee. Credit: ESOKatia won the prize for her series on the ESO Very Large Telescope sited at Paranal in Chile. She said: "As a technology journalist at the BBC, I don't get to write about astronomy very often. That's why I really loved my time in Chile, reporting about the telescopes in ESO's observatories, and learning a lot of new things about space and technology. After I had written my features, I received really good feedback from readers, and a colleague urged me to enter this competition. I was quite surprised but very happy when I found out I won!"

A special prize for excellence also went to Robin McKie from the Observer newspaper for his work on British involvement in the search for gravitational waves.

The judges highly commended Maggie McKee from Boston, Massachusetts, for an article in New Scientist on European involvement in the study of the Transit of Venus.

Robin McKie will take up his prize of a visit to the Very Large Telescope later this year and Maggie McKee's prize is a trip to the UK from the US where she is based – visiting some of the UK's leading science facilities including STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, The UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh and the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.