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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.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: JHU Expert Available to Speak on Comet ISON Grazing Sun

Stephan McCandliss, principal investigator on one of the NASA missions studying Comet ISON as it nears death or destiny, is available to comment about the comet, what it means to scientists and what we can learn from its Thanksgiving date with the sun.

FORTIS Takes Flight on Mission to Analyze Comet ISON

The adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is apt advice in a host of life’s challenges but none more timely than the launch of FORTIS, a NASA-funded sounding rocket, that took flight before dawn on November 20 from a New Mexican desert.

Johns Hopkins Researcher, Colleagues, Solve Mystery of X-ray Light Coming From Black Holes

It is a mystery that has stymied astrophysicists for decades: how do black holes produce so many high-power X-rays? In a new study, astrophysicists from The Johns Hopkins University, NASA and the Rochester Institute of Technology conducted research that bridges the gap between theory and observation by demonstrating that gas spiraling toward a black hole inevitably results in X-ray emissions.

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicists Join Space Mission Aimed at Solving ‘Dark’ Mysteries of the Universe

Johns Hopkins astrophysicists Brice Ménard and Charles L. Bennett have been appointed to the Euclid Consortium, the international team of scientists overseeing an ambitious space telescope project designed to probe the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter. NASA, a partner in the mission, recently announced their selection to the research team for Euclid.

Johns Hopkins First in R&D Expenditures for 33rd Year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $2.1 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2011, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 33rd year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.88 billion in FY2011 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

NASA Selects Johns Hopkins-Led Science Investigation Upgrade for Flying Observatory

A proposal led by a Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist has been selected by NASA as part of a science instrument upgrade to the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The instrument, the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC), will provide sensitive, versatile and powerful imaging capability to the SOFIA user community. The Johns Hopkins-led investigation is one of two that will allow SOFIA, with the enhanced HAWC, to measure the structure and strength of magnetic fields in diverse objects throughout the universe, such as star-forming clouds and galaxies. This will help astronomers better understand how stars, planets and galaxies form and evolve. Johannes Staguhn of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Astrophysical Sciences will lead the team.

Johns Hopkins Led WMAP Mission Scores World’s Most Cited Science Publications in 2011

All three of the most highly cited scientific papers in the world published in 2011 were from an astrophysics space mission project led by a Johns Hopkins University scientist, according to Thomson Reuters’ Science Watch. The papers cite results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a NASA spacecraft launched in 2001 that has revolutionized our knowledge of the history, composition, and geometry of the universe. The WMAP mission is led by Charles L. Bennett, Alumni Centennial Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Johns Hopkins Gilman Scholar

Medical Robotics Experts Help Advance NASA’s ‘Satellite Surgery’ Project

Johns Hopkins engineers, recognized as experts in medical robotics, have turned their attention skyward to help NASA with a space dilemma: How can it fix valuable satellites that are breaking down or running out of fuel? One option—sending a human repair crew into space—is costly, dangerous and sometimes not even possible for satellites in a distant orbit. Another idea is now getting attention: Send robots to the rescue and give them a little long-distance human help. Johns Hopkins scientists say the same technology that allows doctors to steer a machine through delicate abdominal surgery could someday help an operator on Earth fix a faulty fuel line on the far side of the moon.

Crew of Space Shuttle “Endeavour” to Speak at Johns Hopkins

Members of the last crew to fly aboard the Space Shuttle “Endeavour” — the second-to-the-last flight in NASA’s space shuttle program — will discuss their mission to the International Space Station from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, at The Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus. Presented by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium and NASA, the event is free and open to the public. The crew will give a video presentation about the mission and answer questions from the audience in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy’s Schafler Auditorium, on the campus’s north end. Free parking is available in the Muller parking deck on San Martin Drive, adjacent to Bloomberg.

JHU Astronomer Part of Team That Identified “Galactic Metropolis”

A team of astronomers, including one at the Johns Hopkins University, has uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA’s Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes, and the ground-based W.M. Keck Observatory and Japan’s Subaru Telescope. Johannes Staguhn, associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Astrophysical Sciences in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, contributed data to uncover the nature of a main cluster member.

Johns Hopkins first in R&D expenditures for 31st year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $1.85 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2009, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 31st year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.58 billion in FY2009 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

“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.

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Inducted into University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame

Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles Bennett has spent his career studying the heavens, so it seems only fitting that he recently took his place among stars of another kind: those inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame. Bennett, who recently shared the $1 million Shaw Prize in astronomy for his groundbreaking work in determining the age, shape and composition of the universe, now shares this honor with 59 other distinguished University of Maryland luminaries, including Muppet creator Jim Henson, television writer and comedian Larry David, former NFL player Norman “Boomer” Esiason and American choreographer Liz Lerman. He was inducted into the University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame on June 5.

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