Graduation 1999 or bust
Among the 1,085 Johns Hopkins University under-graduates
who will receive degrees on Thursday, there are some who will
hold diplomas that have come to mean more than simply the
conclusion of four challenging academic years. Their diplomas
symbolize their resolve to reach this one particular day, no
matter how grueling the path leading to it.
These are the stories of four of those quiet
stars of the class of 1999.
Hopkins' FUSE satellite: Countdown to
A space telescope designed to sort through the chemical muck and
star-making stew of the universe will begin scouring for the
fossil record of the origins of the universe when it is launched
from Cape Canaveral in early summer.
The bold examination--of objects from nearby
planets to the
extreme outskirts of the cosmos--is expected to reveal the
earliest relics of the Big Bang and provide a detailed picture of
the immense galactic structure of the Milky Way. In the end,
scientists say the satellite should help them make a huge leap
toward understanding how the primordial chemical elements, out of
which all life evolved, were created and distributed since the
beginning of time. Among the questions:
What were conditions like
moments after the Big Bang?
How do galaxies evolve?
Does the Milky Way have a
vast galactic fountain that births stars, spews hot gas,
circulates chemicals and churns cosmic material over and over
Will a fossil remnant of
earliest times subvert the most fundamental suppositions of the
Big Bang theory?
On June 23, a team led by The Johns Hopkins
University is scheduled to launch a satellite named FUSE--for Far
Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer--and begin a long-awaited
quest to cull answers to some of these vexing questions about the
origins of the universe.
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