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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Spies Ultra-Distant Galaxy Amidst Cosmic ‘Dark Ages’

With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes as well as a cosmic magnification effect, a team of astronomers led by Wei Zheng of The Johns Hopkins University has spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light of the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories shone forth when the 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old. The far-off galaxy existed within an important era when the universe began to transit from the so-called “Dark Ages.” During this period, the universe went from a dark, starless expanse to a recognizable cosmos full of galaxies. The discovery of the faint, small galaxy accordingly opens up a window into the deepest, remotest epochs of cosmic history.

“This galaxy is the most distant object we have ever observed with high confidence,” said Zheng, a principal research scientist in The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and lead author of a new paper appearing in Nature tomorrow. “Future work involving this galaxy – as well as others like it that we hope to find – will allow us to study the universe’s earliest objects and how the Dark Ages ended.”

NASA’s Hubble Detects One of the Most Distant Supernovae Yet Observed

A team of Johns Hopkins astrophysicists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a distant Type Ia supernova, the farthest stellar explosion that can be used to measure the expansion rate of the universe. The supernova is the remnant of a star that exploded 9 billion years ago.

New JHU Computer To Enable Data Analysis Not Possible Today

Imagine a tool that is a cross between a powerful electron microscope and the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing scientists from disciplines ranging from medicine and genetics to astrophysics, environmental science, oceanography and bioinformatics to examine and analyze enormous amounts of data from both “little picture” and “big picture” perspectives.Using a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a group led by computer scientist and astrophysicist Alexander Szalay of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science is designing and developing such a tool, dubbed the Data-Scope.

“Hubble Repairman” Becomes Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University

NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld has walked in space eight times and logged more than 800 hours floating in that deep, dark void over the course of five space flights, including three to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Now, he is about to explore a new frontier: The Johns Hopkins University. On July 1, the man nicknamed “the Hubble Repairman” became a research professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. While at Johns Hopkins, Grunsfeld, who is deputy director at the nearby Space Telescope Science Institute, will continue his research in astrophysics and the development of new technology and systems for space astronomy.

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