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Jack Hughes with the
SOAR Telescope

John P. (Jack) Hughes

Rutgers University

Dr. Hughes is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. He grew up in New York City, received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in 1984. From 1984 until 1988 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). In 1988 he joined the AXAF (now Chandra X-ray Observatory) support team in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the CfA as a staff scientist. Dr. Hughes has been at Rutgers since September 1996.

In addition to contributing to the development of a number of NASA missions throughout his career (including work on the Chandra high resolution X-ray mirrors), Dr. Hughes has pursued an active research program investigating the origin, evolution, and nature of clusters of galaxies and supernova remnants using both ground- and space-based instrumentation.

One of his current cluster research projects is a large-area, multiwavelength sky survey using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope that aims to provide an accurate census of massive clusters of galaxies to measure the rate of structure growth in the Universe and thereby answer questions about the nature of dark matter and dark energy that control its evolution. He hopes to use Hubble in the future to study the most interesting massive clusters they have found.

Dr. Hughes also studies the aftermaths of supernova explosions, including both the superdense crushed interiors of massive stars and the exploded outer parts that fly off at speeds of thousands of kilometers per second. The goal of his Hubble observation of the supernova remnant E0509-67.5, the focus of this release, is a high precision measurement of its expansion speed which can then be used to constrain the remnant's age and determine its evolutionary state.


Luke Hovey and Family

Luke Hovey

Rutgers University

Luke Hovey is a graduate student at Rutgers University pursuing a Ph.D. in astrophysics and obtained his B.S. in physics from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. Under the guidance of John Hughes, Luke studies young supernova remnants. So far he is finishing his first project on 0509-67.5, and has begun work on another Large Magellanic Cloud supernova remnant. Luke is interested in studying the complex physics of supernova remnants and their shocks to gain a better understanding of how they interact with the interstellar medium.

Luke developed his interest in astronomy from his grandfather Howard Hovey who was an avid stargazer and lover of the natural world. Besides his research of supernova remnants, Luke loves teaching and has been a teaching assistant for a number of undergraduate physics classes and laboratories while at Rutgers. In honing his skills as a teacher of physics, Luke considers his wife, Kathleen, to be his most valuable resource since she is a special education teacher with 9 years of teaching experience.

Luke is committed to education and hopes to cultivate a curiosity for the wonders of the universe in others, the way his grandfather did for him years before. As a recent father, Luke adores spending time with his four-month-old son Isaac and his wife Kathleen. In his free time, Luke enjoys playing his guitar and snowboarding in the winter.