The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2019 is awarded to Edward C Stone, David Morrisroe Professor of Physics and Vice Provost for Special Projects, California Institute of Technology, USA for his leadership in the Voyager project, which has, over the past four decades, transformed our understanding of the four giant planets and the outer solar system, and has now begun to explore interstellar space.
The Voyager project consists of two spacecraft launched by NASA in August and September 1977 to explore the outer solar system. Both spacecraft flew past Jupiter and Saturn in the period 1979–1981 and Voyager 2 also visited Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. For the foreseeable future Voyager 2 will remain the only spacecraft to visit Uranus and Neptune. These unique data are particularly important for the study of exoplanets, since Uranus and Neptune now appear to be more representative of the bulk of the exoplanet population than the other solar-system planets.