The Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 12, 1999
Apr. 5, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 30


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Early astronomy books on deposit in Special Collections

The Special Collections Department of the MSE Library has become home to 21 volumes of mostly 17th- and 18th-century astronomy books, all by early "giants" in the field.

The collection, put on deposit by Ethan T. Vishniac, professor, Physics and Astronomy, and Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of the School of Engineering, includes Peter Apian's 1540 Cosmographia replete with beautiful volvelles, or movable paper circles, used to calculate planetary activities such as the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and tidal movement. Another significant volume is Nicolaus Copernicus' 1566 second edition of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, in which he mathematically resolves planetary orbits and thereby shifts understanding of the rotation of the universe from the Earth to the sun. Also included are five books by Johannes Kepler, printed between 1604 and 1621, two of which describe Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, which further refine Copernicus' work and later make possible Newtonian celestial mechanics; and books by Brahe, Gassendi, Huygens, Galileo, Ptolemy and Sacro Bosco.

FUSE satellite arrives in Florida for launch preparations

NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer satellite, which was developed and will be operated by Johns Hopkins, arrived April 1 at NASA Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Station to begin prelaunch processing for launch next month.

FUSE processing began April 5 with the removal of the protective covering that surrounded the spacecraft during shipping, followed by a functional test of the satellite's systems. Other milestones while FUSE is in the ultra-high clean room facility at Hangar AE are the installation of flight batteries and the installation and testing of the solar arrays. There also will be testing of the satellite's communications and data systems while linking FUSE with the spacecraft control center at Hopkins.

Meanwhile, at Pad A on Launch Complex 17, preparations will soon be under way to prepare the Boeing Delta II rocket for launch. The first stage will be erected at the pad on April 29, and three solid rocket boosters will be attached to the first stage the following day. The Delta second stage will be hoisted atop the first stage on May 1. FUSE is scheduled to arrive at the pad for mating to the Delta on May 12. Finally, the nose fairing will be placed around the satellite on May 15.

The launch of FUSE is scheduled for May 20 at the opening of a launch window which extends from 11:36 a.m. to 12:48 p.m. EDT.


In a story on the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards that appeared in the March 29 issue, the name of one of Sarvenaz Zand's faculty supervisors was inadvertently omitted. Gary Posner in the Department of Chemistry oversaw Zand's research on Alzheimer's disease along with her sponsor, Henry Brem in the Department of Neurosurgery.


In a caption for a photograph in the April 5 issue, the names of two students competing in the world finals of the Collegiate Programming Contest were switched. Adam Hunter was holding a keyboard; Phil Lawton was seated behind him.