Enn Saar awarded the University of Tartu Grand Medal

Senior Research Fellow of Tartu Observatory Enn Saar was awarded the University of Tartu Grand Medal. The medal was handed over on December 18 before this year's last astronomy seminar in Tõravere.

The main field of research for Saar has been the fundamental forces that form the Universe: dark matter, dark energy and their observational occurrences in the large-scale structure of the Universe; in the earlier days, also in the structure of galaxies and galaxy clusters. He is one of the discoverers of dark matter and the large-scale structure of the Universe along with long-time colleague Jaan Einasto. It can easily be stated that most of Tartu Observatory's biggest achievements in this field of research are founded on Saar's contributions. His part in the numerical modelling of the evolution of the Universe as well as applying mathematical and statistical methods to analyze cosmological data also needs to be emphasised.

From 1998 to 2016, Saar was the Head of the Department of Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology. He is a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences since 2010. For the research of dark matter, a comprehensive co-operation between the researchers of Tartu Observatory and the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics was started with Martti Raidal. This collaboration has led to founding two Centres of Excellence. Among colleagues, Saar is valued as an original and broad thinker and counsellor who can see through the mathematical essence of different scientific problems.

The book "Statistics of Galaxy Distribution" written with colleague Vicent Martinez is a highly valued manual for astronomers and cosmologists working both on this and that side of the ocean. "Star Atlas" („Täheatlas“; Tallinn: Valgus, 1990) written with Jaak Jaaniste is of value to the broader audience interested in the sky as well as mythology.

Enn Saar has also been an apinist. He has worked at the international alpinism camp in Pamir. Twice, Saar has reached the summits of mountains higher than 7000 metres. In 1982 Saar was the leader of an expedition to Central-Pamir. During the expedition, the alpinists climbed the highest unconquered mountain of the Soviet Union at the time. The mountain peak was named Tartu Ülikool 350 (University of Tartu 350) (height 6350 metres).

Saar was awarded the National Science Prize (as a member of a group) in 2007 for a discovery that effects the paradigm of the discipline as well as the world view. He has also received the national prize of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1982 and the Estonian Physical Society Annual Award in 2006.

The University of Tartu Grand Medal is awarded to employees as well as people outside of the university, who have done great service to the university.

Futher information: Enn Saar, Academician and Senior Research Fellow at UT Tartu Observatory department of Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology, 737 4556, enn.saar@ut.ee