Reports in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (BAAS)

from The Johns Hopkins University


1982 BAAS 14, 671  (1981 activities)

Since the days of our first Professor of Physics, Henry Rowland, we have been involved in the application of physics, particularly physical optics, to the solution of problems in astronomy.  We take the happy occasion of the founding of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) on our Homewood campus, to begin regular reporting of our astronomical and astrophysical activities in these pages.  In this first report, we summarize our activity for the period 1 January 1979 – 31 August 1981.


The first Space Telescope Science Team meeting included two Johns Hopkins scientists:  Bill Fastie (Telescope Scientist), & Dick Henry (Deputy Director, Astrophysics Division, NASA)


1983 BAAS 15, 233  (1982 activities)

The Department of Physics is situated on the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University, which is located in a pleasant residential neighborhood of north central Baltimore.  On San Martin Drive, on its Homewood Campus, the Johns Hopkins University has currently under construction the building that will house the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).  The astrophysics research program at Hopkins, at present largely centered on sounding-rocket and Spacelab experimental astrophysics, complements the powerful observational astrophysics program that will be the central activity of the STScI.  Graduate students will be well placed to carry out hands-on experimental research as well as Space telescope observational research.


1984 BAAS 16, 159   (1983 activities)

A highlight of the past year has been the restoration of large amounts of research space in Rowland Hall, as personnel and equipment of the Space Telescope Science Institute transferred to their new building a short distance away.  The restored space has been helpful to the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) space shuttle project; to the Sounding Rocket program, including a new space shuttle-borne cosmic ultraviolet background radiation project; and to many other disciplines of physics, whose practitioners graciously yielded temporary use of space for the start-up of the Institute.

            The intellectual life of the Hopkins astrophysics group is being enormously enhanced by the presence of the Space Telescope Science Institute, through formal association of personnel, and through the informal interaction that is the consequence of propinquity.  Interlibrary liaison, and coordination (and sometimes merging) of colloquia, are only two examples.  This interaction will only increase over future years.


1985 BAAS 17, 219   (1984 activities)

When it was founded in 1876 our Department was known as the Department of Physics, but during the brief periods 1907-08 and 1917-18 we carried the title listed above, to which we now revert (we expect) permanently.

            A university department is not a rose, and the name, we think, matters:  it signals the increased importance of that special are of physics that we call astronomy, both world-wide, and in Johns Hopkins perspective.  The local perspective of course heavily involves the now massive presence o our campus guest, the Space Telescope Science Institute (ST ScI), but is not dominate by it:  a vigorous program in astrophysical theory (linked to ST ScI) joins a sharply enlarged experimental program that involves not only sounding-rocket experiments, but also Space Shuttle missions.  The Hopkins faculty are also active observers, particularly with IUE, and will surely be general observers on Space Telescope; guaranteed Space telescope observing time is also held by Hopkins Faculty.  Our mixture of hands-on experiments, theory, and observing, provides a very attractive environment for graduate students.


1986 BAAS 18, 203  (1985 activities)

I am pleased to introduce the first B.A.A.S. report of the Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy.  The Center has been created “to promote and support research in astrophysics and the related space sciences at The Johns Hopkins University.”  It includes faculty and staff from several of the University’s academic departments, as well as some members of the scientific staff of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

            President Steven Muller has informally indicated to us that he plans to respond fully indeed to the opportunity that is presented to Hopkins by the presence of the Space Telescope Science Institute on our Campus.  Tentative plans include 1) a new building for the Department of Physics and Astronomy,  2) participation in a large new ground-based optical telescope, and  3) a doubling of the Departmental budget.  A bond issue has been floated for the new building, and the architects are to be at work by January, 1986.  It is our hope that the building will be located as closely as possible to the Space Telescope Science Institute (ST ScI), facilitating mutually beneficial interaction.


1987 BAAS 19, 260   (1986 activities)

This was to have been a climactic year for the Center for Astrophysical Sciences, with shuttle launches of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope scheduled for March 1986 and October 1986, respectively.  The Challenger disaster in January, which so affected the entire nation, had a particularly depressing effect on many of us, especially the group involved with HUT, which was ready for launch on the very next mission when the tragedy occurred.  In addition to the long delay of all the planned science programs, of course, we missed the long-awaited opportunity to observe Comet Halley in the far and extreme ultraviolet, in coordination with the fly-by missions conducted by several other nations.  The recently-announced manifest of the resumption of shuttle launches has lifted spirits considerably, however, with HST scheduled for launch on the fifth mission in November 1988, and HUT (Astro-1) scheduled for the sixth mission in January 1989.

            Progress has continued on several other important fronts at CAS.  One of the most significant activities for our future involves planning, jointly with the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Arizona, for an 8-meter telescope to be built at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.  CAS faculty and staff are to have a 25 percent share in the observing time on this telescope when it becomes operational in the 1990’s.  The three institutions have signed a formal agreement to proceed with the design of the telescope, and a Telescope Council has been formed to oversee the project, with two representatives from Carnegie and one each form Arizona and Johns Hopkins.  In addition, a Science Working Group has been formed, with two representative from each institution, to oversee the detailed design of the telescope and its instruments.

            The further development of the astrophysics program at Johns Hopkins is receiving the highest priority within the School of arts and Sciences, and is enjoying extremely strong support from President Steven Muller.  The budgets of CAS and of the Department of Physics and Astronomy have been increased substantially, and continuing efforts are underway to attract new faculty.  Our plans include the addition of senior and junior faculty in theoretical, observational, and experimental areas of astrophysics.

            In order to house the substantially expanded department envisioned, President Muller has authorized design and construction of a new building for the Department of Physics an Astronomy.  This facility, for which the schematic design phase is now complete, will provide about 200,000 square feet of space for teaching and research, double the amount we presently have.  Furthermore, in order to maximize our interaction with the staff of the Space Telescope Science Institute, the new building will be built in close proximity to the ST ScI facility.  Groundbreaking is planned for the fall of 1987, with occupancy scheduled for winter of 1989-90.

            At the XIXth General Assembly of the international Astronomical Union in New Delhi last November, the IAU accepted our invitation to host the XXth General Assembly in Baltimore in August 1988.  CAS is now deeply involved in planning for this major event, in which some 3000 astronomers and guests are expected to participate.  While it was our original intent that this meeting would provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate the launch and first year’s operation of the Hubble Space Telescope, in the aftermath of the Challenger tragedy it will now serve, we hope, as a celebration of the successful resumption of shuttle launches and as a prelude to the long-awaited launch of HST.


1988 BAAS 20, 258   (1987 activities)

It has been another exciting year for the Center for Astrophysical Sciences.  CAS researchers have rebounded from the post-Challenger disaster doldrums by becoming involved in many new research efforts based on ground-based observing, satellite and archival data analysis programs and theoretical or instrument development projects.  The current manifest for the resumption of shuttle launches is encouraging, however, with HST scheduled for launch on the 6th mission and the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (part of the shuttle-based Astro Observatory) scheduled for the 7th mission, both in June  1989.  As with any space mission, a tremendous effort goes into preparation and CAS personnel have already begun working toward these launch opportunities.


Progress has continued on several other important projects within CAS.  One of the most significant of these is the planning, jointly with the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Arizona, for an 8-meter telescope to be built at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.  This project has been officially designated the Magellan Project, and CAS faculty and staff will have a 25 percent share on the telescope when it becomes operational in the mid-1990s.  The Science Working Group has met throughout the year to study telescope and instrument design constraints and trade-offs and how they affect the science that can be accomplished with the telescope.  At a recent meeting, the Magellan Science Working Group reached an agreement with the Columbus Project Science Working Group to baseline studies of an f/1.2 primary mirror.  This will preserve as much commonality in the design between the two projects as possible, and should help keep costs down for both projects.

The Center for Astrophysical Sciences Computer systems have grown considerably in the past year.  With help from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we have added disk and tape peripherals to bring the total disk space to over three gigabytes of on-line storage with 6 tape transports on four different cpus (two MicroVaxes a VAX 11/750, and a Sun 3/160).  The campus-wide networking system at Johns Hopkins has also been installed so we are now able to communicate with the campus computer systems and the Space Telescope Science Institute.  At this writing, three more Sun 3 workstations are ready to go on-line, and there are orders out for 2 VAXStation 2000s and another Sun 3.

The astrophysics program continues ot receive strong support within the School of Arts and Sciences and from University President, Seven Muller.  Continuing efforts are underway to attract new senior and junior faculty in theoretical, observational, and experimental areas of astrophysics.  Also, the plans for a new Physics and Astronomy building have come several steps closer to reality this year with detailed drawings from the architect being finalized and a gala ground-braking ceremony held on 5 October 1987.  The building will have more than 147,000 net square feet of floor space, more than doubling the existing area in our present facility, and will include ample laboratory space and a high bay area for anticipated future space-based instrumentation development projects.  Site preparation has already begun for the building, which will be built on the knoll across San Martin Drive from the Space Telescope Science Institute.  Occupancy is scheduled for late 1989, shortly after HST and Astro are scheduled to fly.

The 20th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union will be held in Baltimore 2-11 August 1988, and will be hosted by The Johns Hopkins university.  Several CAS staff members have already been working for months, finalizing arrangements for housing, meeting facilities, tours and social events.  All scientific meetings will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center.  The preliminary program for the meeting (in English and French) has been sent to the printer and will be mailed to all 6000+ IAU members.  WE expect 2-3000 astronomers and guests to converge on Baltimore next August for an outstanding meeting.


1989 BAAS 21, 282   (1988 activities)

The highlight of the past year was the International Astronomical Union General Assembly held in Baltimore (August 1988).  Official host was The Johns Hopkins University, so CAS was very heavily involved indeed, and the first Director of CAS, Professor Arthur Davidsen, acted as Co-Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.  The other Co-Chair was CAS member and Space Telescope Science Institute Director Riccardo Giacconi.  In a special section of this report, Davidsen details the very successful IAU General Assembly.

The CAS computer systems continue to multiply rapidly at a rate of about one new computer per month with no end in sight.  There are now over twenty significant computers available to astronomers and astrophysics researchers.  These include a mix of MicroVAX II, MicroVAX 3XXX, and Sun 3 computers running the VMS, Ultrix, or Sun Unix operating systems.  All of these machines are connected through a campus-wide Ethernet supported by the Johns Hopkins Homewood Academic Computing Center, giving us direct access to Bitnet, SURAnet, and the ARPAnet.  A direct line to the Space Telescope Science Institute connects us to NASA’s SPAN network as well.  A large, but insufficient 8.6 Gbytes of fast disk storage is on-line, most of it accessible across machines via either the Sun Unix NFS or VAX/VMS LAVC.  Nine 9-track magnetic tape drives are also available.  Access to these computers is through network terminal servers that support nearly 80 terminals.  Direct connection to any machine on the ARPAnet is possible from the terminal servers, and many DECnet networks can be reached through gateway computers.  About 200 login accounts have been issued for these computers, although only 100 or so are used regularly.  There are three IVAS image displays on VMS computers, and two of the Sun workstations are equipped with color displays that run locally written image display software as well as the IRAF utilities.

Visitors to the Space Telescope Science Institute who look across the street will see vivid evidence of the progress on the new building of the Department of Physics and Astronomy of The Johns Hopkins University.  As of October 1988, the steel skeleton of the teaching wing was completed and the concrete first floor of the research wing was in place.  Work is continuing on schedule with completion scheduled for spring 1990.

Finally, the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) is still on NASA’s space Shuttle manifest for two flights, on March of 1990 and September 1991.


1990 BAAS 22, 297   (1989 activities)

A massive building is under construction across the street from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which will house the Center for Astrophysical Sciences; the Department of Physics and Astronomy; the new Johns Hopkins Space Grant Consortium (see below); as well as several functions of the Space Telescope Science Institute itself.  Occupancy of the building will be the late spring of 1990, which is about the same time that the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope will fly on the Space Shuttle (as part of the ASTRO mission), and Space telescope will be launched.  The center for Astrophysical Sciences is therefore looking toward a year of culmination; but at the same time, with the success of the Lyman FUSE proposal, the continuing progress of the Magellan 8-meter project, and our hopes for a future Small explorer mission, a beginning.


1991 BAAS 23, 316   (1990 activities)

The new Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, located just across the street from the Space Telescope Science Institute, has now been completed, and is occupied by the Center for Astrophysical Sciences (CAS)¾and by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Johns Hopkins Space Grant Consortium, and (shortly) by elements of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

From the steps of the Space Telescope Science Institute can be seen, on top of the Bloomberg Center, the Johns Hopkins Space Grant Observatory.  Observatory Director is Richard C. Henry, Director of the Johns Hopkins Space Grant Consortium, which includes Morgan State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute.  The observatory dome is the gift of Stanley D. and Joan F. Greenblatt, while an anonymous donor is providing a one-half-meter reflecting telescope, to be named the Morris W. Offit telescope in honor of the Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees.

Many CAS members now hold world records for number of trips to Huntsville, Alabama, without a launch.  The next attempt to launch the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (Arthur Davidsen, Principal Investigator), a part of the Astro mission, is tentatively scheduled for December 1990.


1992 BAAS 24, 275   (1991 activities)

The unquestioned highlight of the past year was the launch, and extremely successful flight of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), as part of the Astro-1 mission (see special section below).  Icing on the cake was the decision by NASA to fly HUT again in 1994.

There is a potpourri of other news:  sounding rocket flights continue; the roof-top observatory now actually contains a half-meter telescope (primarily for teaching use); we are at last routinely receiving Hubble Space Telescope data; Lyman received an important boost from the Bahcall Committee (which recommended a dedicated spacecraft); and theoretical, experimental, and observational astronomical work advanced on many points as detailed below.  These many positive things that happened over the last year do not lessen our great disappointment that the University found it necessary, for financial reason, to withdraw from the Magellan telescope consortium.  We are still determined to join a telescope project, and are actively pursuing this goal.


1993 BAAS 25, 216   (1992 activities)

In this place last year, we advertised our determination that the Johns Hopkins university should join a ground-based telescope project.  We are extremely pleased to be able to report, now, that at its 1992 June 8 meeting, the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Board voted enthusiastically to invite the Johns Hopkins University to join ARC.  The invitation has been accepted, and Hopkins is now a participant in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey of the Northern Polar Cap.  Alex Szalay is leading the effort at Hopkins, where portions of the fiber spectrographs will be built and some of the software will be written.  The project goal is to image about 25% of the sky in four colors to almost 24th mag.  Follow-up spectroscopy of one million galaxies found in the survey will be used to study the large-scale structure of the Universe.  Meanwhile, Arthur Davidsen and his colleagues continue a vigorous mining and publication of the mountain of high quality data which came from the successful flight of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) as par tof the astro-1 mission in December 1990, and planning for the next reflight proceeds apace.  The next HUT flight will involve a guest investigator program.  Also, Lyman Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), and a host to other theoretical, observational, and experimental activities are progressing, as detailed below.


1994 BAAS 26, 207   (1993 activities)

We have concluded another year of intense work spanning the gamut from theoretical astrophysics to flying sounding rockets and preparing for future space missions.  We and the University are firmly committed to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).  In addition to contributing ideas for the design of the survey and the subsequent reduction of the data, object identification, classification, and cataloging, we are building the spectrographs for SDSS 2.5-m telescope.  We submitted three excellent proposals for Small Explorer Satellites.  Although two off our proposals were finalists in the ultraviolet category, none of our proposals were selected.  The Lyman\FUSE project is in Phase B, and working hard toward a Critical Design Review in 1996.  Preparations are underway for the second Astro Mission which will fly on the Space shuttle in late 1994.  The new silicon carbide coatings used on HUT are expected to improve its performance by a factor of three.  In addition to theory and building space hardware, we continue vigorous observing programs using telescopes in orbit and around the world.


1995 BAAS 27, 223   (1994 activities)

The highlight of 1993 for astronomy in Baltimore was the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.  The mission in early December 1993 was an enormous success, securing the future for NASA and space astronomy.  The first step in the demanding twelve-day mission was to configure the shuttle bay for berthing and check out the RMS arm while catching up to the HST.  After the rendezvous, the telescope was grappled with the RMS arm and berthed into the space shuttle bay.  The following day astronauts Musgrave and Hoffman replaced two RSUs (two gyros each) in the aft shroud, and then two electronic control units for the gyros in the mid-bay, after which they replaced fuse plugs in yet another compartment.  In the time remaining Musgrave prepared the solar array carriers for the changeout.  The Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) lasted 7.5 hours.  On EVA day 2 astronauts Thornton and Akers removed the old solar arrays, jettisoning the +V2 array because a kink in on eoof the two bi-stems prevented it from rolling up.  The shuttle made a small z-burn to move away from the array, resulting in spectacular pictures of the array “flapping” in space.  Thornton and Akers then installed the new European Space Agency solar arrays.   EVA day 3 was crucial for optical space astronomy, with replacement of the WF/PC1 camera with the WFC2.  The replacement went smoothly, and left enough time for replacement of the two magnetometers at the top of the telescope.  The fourth EVA day was ;the most eventful for those of us in Baltimore who had worked for three years on COSTAR.  Thornton and Akers removed the HSP and installed COSTAR.  Within an hour (near 1:00 a.m.), consoles at the Goddard Space Flight Center showed that COSTAR was electrically alive.  Before reentering the shuttle, Thornton and Akers installed the co-processor and extra memory for the DF224 computer.  The last EVA day began with a reboost, which raised the HST orbit by 7.5 km.  Hoffman and Musgrave installed the solar array drive electronics on Side 1, and then manually moved the solar arry booms perpendicular to the HST.  They next installed the GHRS redundancy kit, and then went to the top of the telescope and installed MLI over the old magnetometers to prevent further deterioration from solar UV and atomic oxygen.  On command, the new solar arrays unrolled smoothly.

The following day the HST was grappled by the RMS arm and the latches holding the HST to the shuttle were released.  Nicollier, operating the RMS arm, then moved the HST first to the “low hover” position just above the FSS fixture, then to the “high hover” posit9ion well above the payload by.  The Space Telescope Operations Control Center went through the final HST preparations for deploy.  The aperture door was opened and the HST was released by the RMS.  The shuttle pilots then carefully maneuvered the Endeavour safely away from HST.  The release went well with no sign of any jet plumes form Endeavour’s maneuverings hitting HST.

The flawless execution of the mission was a tribute to the training, talent, and resourcefulness of the shuttle crew.  However, NASA and astronomers, especially those at JHU and the STScI who had worked on COSTAR and WFPC, would not know for another month if WFPC2 and COSTAR had corrected the spherical aberration in the HST primary mirror.  The first images in January from WFPC2 and the FOC/COSTAR were spectacular, showing that at last astronomers would realize the promise of HST.  The sequence of exciting results since the servicing mission are a testament to what HST can now do.

The past year has also been one of preparation for the future:  work continues vigorously at JHU on the two spectrographs for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), and on the design of innovative software that will be used to sift through the unprecedented catalog of stars, galaxies, and QSOs which will be produced by the SDSS.  The second flight of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) on the Astro-2 mission will be in early spring, 1995.  A great deal of work has been done preparing for what should be  a very successful mission.  The new silicon carbide coatings on the primary mirror and grating will increase the sensitivity of the telescope by a factor of three relative to the first flight:  The Lyman-Fuse project was in Phase B and on track until late this year when NASA decided to scale the mission back to a Medium Explorer.  The FUSE team is working hard to redesign the instrument to fit the new cost and weight constraints for a Mid-X mission.  Based on the redesign, NASA will decide in early 1995 if FUSE will continue as a Mid-X.

The Maryland Space Grant Consortium was selected in late September as one of the six finalist for the USRA’s STEDI (Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative) program.  The principal investigator for this project is R. C. Henry.  The proposal, which describes a small satellite that will investigate the ultraviolet background radiation, is a cooperative effort between JHU (Physics and Engineering), Morgan State University and the Applied Physics Laboratory.  The satellite, called HRRE (Hydrogen Recombination Radiation Experiment), will carry an ultraviolet spectrometer which will be built in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, while the satellite itself will be built in the Whiting School of Engineering, with most of the work being performed by students from JHU and Morgan State.  During the four month Phase I study, the design will be refined in preparation for a review by USRA in February, 1995.  At that time, two or three of the six finalists will be selected to fly.

Perusal of the following pages shows that theoretical and observational work continues at a rapid pace.


1996 BAAS 28, 217   (1995 activities)

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Astrophysical Sciences (CAS) again put astronomer Sam Durrance in orbit in 1995.  Below, we sketch the participation of the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) in the Astro-2 mission.  Many Hopkins astronomers spent weeks in Huntsville, Alabama, in an extraordinarily successful second flight of HUT.

Participation in major NASA missions has been the foundation stone of the growth of astronomy and astrophysics research activity at Hopkins.  This growth continued in 1995 with the selection of CAS Director Holland Ford as principal investigator for the Advanced Camera for Surveys project for the Hubble Space Telescope.  At press time, the Hopkins Ultraviolet Background Explorer project (HUBE), has advanced to the final round in the NASA MIDEX selection process.

Another major space mission that passed a major milestone was the Far Ultraviolet Spectrograph Explorer (FUSE), which has been substantially restructured, but which now is on track for implementation by NASA, with launch in 1997.

However, a foundation stone, by itself, does not a building make: below you will find the details of a very broad and vigorous program in astronomy and astrophysics that includes strong contributions to theory, observation, and experiment.


1997 BAAS 29, 189   (1996 activities)

The years have seen the growth of a highly varied astronomy and astrophysics program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University.  A highlight of the past year was visits by most Hopkins astronomers to the Apache Point Observatory to achieve familiarity with the 3.5-meter telescope.  Participaton in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey continues to be strong, and there are many other projects that are moving forward:  the Advanced Camera for Surveys HST project; Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorere; Sounding rockets (just renewed for a further three-year period_; HUBE, the Hopkins Ultraviolet Background Explorer (selected by NASA in April 1996 as a MIDEX Alternate payload); Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (massive processing of the data); and many smaller projects.  Our widespread work in theory, observation, and instrumetation continues apace.  Visit


1998 BAAS 30, 184   (1997 activities)

Space Science within CAS continues to be vigorous.  As the Faint Object Spectrograph and Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope programs come to an end, two other programs, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), are rapidly approaching final assembly and launch.  FUSE will begin final assembly in December 1997 for a launch in October 1998.  The ACS is undergoing assembly that will continue through the summer of 1998, with a launch and placement into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) planned for December 1999.  Both programs  are discussed in detail below.  The CAS rocket program and CAS’s participation in the Midcourse Space Experiment continue to be very active.  CAS has two pending SMEX proposals, one for a Hopkins Ultraviolet Background Explorer (HUBE) and the other for a Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope Spartan (HUTSPA).  CAS has built two wide field, double spectrographs for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and has written software for archiving and retrieving SDSS data that is being adopted by several astronomical data archives.  CAS plans to build a novel spectrograph for the Apache Point Observatory (APO) 3.5-m telescope.  Theoretical and observational astronomy within CAS continue to be strong.  Both are supported by data obtained from the Hubble Space telescope, the APO 3.5-m telescope, and observatories around the world.


1999 BAAS 31, 146   (1998 activities)

Historically, the backbone of our expanding astronomy program has been space ultraviolet instrumentation and missions, and that portion of our program continues strong, with the rapid progress of both FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, to be launched in early 1999) and ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys, for Hubble Space Telescope, to be placed aboard HST in mid 2000).  Our sounding rocket program continues to train the experimentalist of the future, and our participation in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey continues to be vigorous.  Theoretical astronomy and ground-based observing continue as major components of our balanced total astronomy and astrophysics program.


2000 BAAS 32, 1   (1999 activities)

The highlights of 1999 were the launch of the Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and first light from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).  Astronomers from JHU continue to play a major role in the broad collaboration guiding the SDSS.  Work continues on the ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys, for the Hubble Space Telescope).  In addition, we continue to pursue a broad range of theoretical and ground-based astronomical projects.

As part of our educational and public outreach effort, we installed the new Morris W. Offit Telescope, a 20-inch reflector built by DFM Engineering, in the Maryland Space Grant Consortium Observatory on the roof of the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy.  This telescope replaces the original 1991 instrument that was moved to Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico to provide photometric calibrations for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.


2001 BAAS 33, 131   (2000 activities)

Among the highlights of 2000 were the successful ongoing operations of the Far-Ultraviolet  Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).  The former project  is managed directly from Johns Hopkins.  The later is a broad collaborative effort, within which astronomers from JHU play a major role.  Work continues on the ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) for the Hubble Space Telescope.  In addition, scientists from JHU have successfully proposed for a Phase A study for a Small Explorer project, PRIME (PRIMordial Explorer), a near IR, multiple color, wide-field survey.  Finally, we continue to pursue a broad range of theoretical and ground-based astronomical projects.


2002 BAAS 34, ----   (2001 activities)    NO REPORT WAS SUBMITTED


2003 BAAS 35, ----   (2002 activities)