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News Release

Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

April 13, 1995
CONTACT: Emil Verene

Media Memo
To: Writers/Editors
From: Emil Venere

A welcome home reception for astronaut Sam Durrance and scientists on the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope team will be held 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25,in Schafler Auditorium at the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus.

The event is open to media coverage and open to the public.

Dr. Durrance, a Johns Hopkins astrophysicist, was on the space shuttle Endeavour during the historic 16 and a half day Astro-2 mission. As a payload specialist, he operated Astro-2's three ultraviolet telescopes, one of which was HUT, designed and built by scientists at Hopkins and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

He will talk about the space observatory and present slides and a video taken during the mission.

Astrophysicist Arthur Davidsen, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, also will discuss the mission. Dr. Davidsen headed the HUT project and conceived of the idea in the late 1970s.

Endeavour returned to Earth on March 18. Scientists are now analyzing the large amount of data they collected with HUT and will publish their findings in the years to come. A special session for Astro-2 research has been scheduled for a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in June.

By studying ultraviolet light, which is filtered out by the Earth's atmosphere, astronomers can learn many details, such as composition, temperature and velocity of objects in space. The telescope collected about 30 compact disc's worth of information -- a massive amount of data considering that an encyclopedia can fit on one CD.

If you need additional information feel free to call me at (410)516-7906.

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