March was a busy month at Hopkins, and signaled the beginning of spring at Hopkins. Read on for some of the highlights of March at Hopkins!
MESSENGER reaches Mercury
The MESSENGER launch
MESSENGER began its yearlong science campaign to understand the innermost planet. The spacecraft will fly around Mercury 700 times over the next 12 months, and its instruments will perform the first complete reconnaissance of the cratered planet’s geochemistry, geophysics, geological history, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and plasma environment. “MESSENGER’s orbital commissioning phase, which we just completed, demonstrated that the spacecraft and payload are all operating nominally, notwithstanding Mercury’s challenging environment,” says Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. “With the beginning today of the primary science phase of the mission, we will be making nearly continuous observations that will allow us to gain the first global perspective on the innermost planet. Moreover, as solar activity steadily increases, we will have a front-row seat on the most dynamic magnetosphere–atmosphere system in the Solar System.”
MESSENGER’s 12-month orbital phase covers two Mercury solar days (one Mercury solar day, from sunrise to sunrise, is equal to 176 Earth days). This means that the spacecraft can view a given spot on the surface under given lighting conditions only twice during the mission, six months apart, making available observation time a precious resource. “So the surface mapping observations had to be planned for the entire year far in advance to ensure coverage of the entire planet under acceptable illumination and viewing geometries,” says MESSENGER Deputy Project Scientist Brian Anderson, who oversaw the planning for orbital operations.
Read more on the APL website here or read more in the Gazette article here.
University Taps 17 as Inaugural Gilman Scholars
Daniel Coit Gilman
President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Lloyd B. Minor have tapped 17 eminent Johns Hopkins faculty and professional staff members from across the divisions to serve as the inaugural group of Gilman Scholars, a prestigious designation. The honor is named for Daniel Coit Gilman, Johns Hopkins’ visionary first president, who was interested in establishing a university to promote the highest standards of scholarship and research in the sciences and in the humanities. The 17 individuals, regarded as leading faculty or practitioners within their divisions, were confirmed by the president upon recommendation from the provost and nomination by their deans or directors. The university’s board of trustees approved the nominations last week. Read more in the Gazette article here.
Provost Speaks on the Future of the American Research University
On Thursday, March 3, Provost Lloyd B. Minor’s presented a speech on the future of research institutions, entitled “At What Cost? Charting the Future of the American Research University,” on Thursday, March 3, 5:30 p.m. You can read the text of the speech or view the presentation here.
Kick-off for the Johns Hopkins Film Festival
The 14th annual student-run Johns Hopkins Film Fest returned to the Homewood campus on Thursday, March 31, with a special panel discussion, “Film Fest Forum: Baltimore, Film and the Arts,” with Film and Media Studies lecturer and filmmaker Matthew Porterfield, film and video artist Jimmy Joe Roche, multimedia artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrom, musician/photographer Andrew Laumann and multimedia artist, filmmaker and writer Stephanie Barber, who moderated the panel. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Gilman Hall’s Marjorie M. Fisher Hall, Room 50.
The festival, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Film Society, continued through Sunday, April 3, with a showcase of student films, five 35 mm feature film screenings and two programs of short films from across the country and around the world, all in Shriver Hall Auditorium.
This year’s festival theme is Intersecting Arts, a concept allowing audiences to explore what it means for film, paint, sculpture, sound, creative writing, graffiti, fashion and all genres in between to coexist. The student organizers say that the theme reflects Baltimore’s arts scene and recognizes the importance of artists of various media uniting to form one true community.
Read more in the Gazette here.
Student-Curated Art Exhibit Opening at the Evergreen
The Art of Diplomacy: The Garretts in Rome, a student curated exhibit, opened at the Evergreen Museum and Library on Sunday, March 6th. Organized by Museums and Society senior and Evergreen Student Curator Kit Harris, the exhibition focuses on the years that John and Alice Garrett were in Rome while John was the US Ambassador to Italy. The show explores how the Garretts used their status within Roman society to further an exchange between the art worlds of the two nations. Read more about the exhibit on the Evergreen Museum website here.