The Award is administered by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), as the beneficiary under the Will of Edgar Wilson of Lexington, KY. This administration shall specifically be through the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), which, with the advice of the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN; formerly the Small Bodies Names Committee) of IAU Division III, has the responsibility for naming comets.
The funds available for the first annual Award amounted to approximately US$20000 (twenty thousand dollars), as a total amount to be split among the award winners for that year; in the years since the first Award, the amount of money available has oscillated considerably, usually below, but sometimes above, the first-year amount (evidently due to the investment policies of the bank trustees, which are kept confidential). For the purpose of this Award, the Award year is the period of twelve months beginning and ending on June 11.0 UT. The first Award was for the year ending on 1999 June 11.0. The Award is usually announced within a month after the end of each Award year.
To be eligible for the Award an individual must demonstrate:
SAO employees associated with the CBAT, CSBN members, as well as members of their immediate families, are not eligible for the Award.
The Edgar Wilson Award is international in scope, and nationals of no country are excluded from consideration. An observer who suspects he or she has discovered a comet shall ensure that his or her discovery report reaches the CBAT according to the usual procedures. The CBAT shall maintain the necessary records and may contact the discoverers for eligibility documentation.
The decision of SAO (via the CBAT) is final and takes precedence over the description on this page.
By comet By discoverer C/2028 C1 (Papathanassiou) 0 Oldfield 2 = 1+1 C/2028 F1 (Oldfield) 1 Starr 1.5 = 0.5+1 P/2028 F2 (Lennon-McCartney) 1+1 McCartney 1 = 1 C/2028 G1 (Harrison-Starr) 0.5+0.5 Harrison 1 = 0.5+0+0+0.5 P/2028 K1 (SONOFLINEAR) 0 Lennon 1 = 1 C/2028 L1 (Papathanassiou) 1 Papathanassiou 1 = 0+1 C/2028 M2 (Oldfield) 1 Hail 1 = 1 P/2028 O1 (Hail-Caesar) 1+0 Clapton 0.5 = 0+0.5 C/2028 S2 (Jarre) 0 SONOFLINEAR 0 = 0 C/2028 T1 (Harrison) 0 Caesar 0 = 0 P/2028 U1 (Harrison-Clapton) 0+0 Jarre 0 = 0 C/2028 U2 (Harrison-Clapton) 0.5+0.5 Total 9 C/2028 X3 (Starr) 1 Total 9 Estimated Award per share = 20000/9 = c. US$ 2222Just for interest's sake, if this award had been operating prior to 1999 the number of eligible discoveries would be: 1995, 5; 1996, 6; 1997, 5; and 1998, 4.
The recipients of the Edgar Wilson Award to date are given on a separate webpage. Sample photographs of Award plaques are available here for 2007 Awards to David Levy and Terry Lovejoy.
As an experiment, we used Digital's AltaVista translation service to produce initial versions of the bulk of this webpage in French [cleaned up by Alain Maury], German [cleaned up by Maik Meyer], Italian [cleaned up by Mauro V. Zanotta] and Spanish [cleaned up by Federico Fdez. Pardavila]. Also, Alexandre Amorim (Florianopolis, Brazil) has kindly posted this webpage at his website in Portuguese. Our thanks to those translators named above. In cases where the translations differ in meaning from the English version, the English version takes precedence.
This webpage was updated on 2007 Sept. 24 (foreign-language translations not updated yet; they were based on an early version of this webpage that was written around the time of the first Award in 1999) and 2017 May 11.