Recent Faculty Discoveries Include Learning What’s Under Jupiter’s Clouds and the Most Precise Measurement of Universal Expansion to Date

June 6, 2016

De pater and filippenko A radio image of Jupiter from the VLA at three wavelengths; Image by Imke de Pater, Michael H. Wong (UC Berkeley), Robert J. Sault (Univ. Melbourne). A Hubble Space Telescope image of the galaxy UGC 9391; The observations for this composite image were taken between 2012 and 2013 by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. (Image by NASA, ESA, and A. Riess [STScI/JHU])

Imke de Pater and Team's Research Sheds New Light on What Lies Beneath Jupiter's Clouds

Imke de Pater and her team, including Postdoc Mike Wong and co-authur Robert Sault, have produced the most detailed radio map of Jupiter's atmosphere, revealing massive movement of ammonia gases and finding how this movement contributes to the understanding of Jupiter's overall atmosphere. By using the upgraded Karl G. Jansky array (located in New Mexico), de Pater and her team were able to measure radio emissions in wavelength bands where clouds were transparent, a method that allowed them to view areas as deep as 100 kilometers beneath the cloud tops.

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Alex Filippenko and Team Find Evidence that Universe is Expanding Faster Than Expected

Alex Filippenko and his team have found that the universe could be possibly expanding as much as 9% faster than originally expected, a discovery that may indicate previous measurements were mistaken or a potential unknown physical phenonmenon is at work. “If you really believe our number — and we have shed blood, sweat and tears to get our measurement right and to accurately understand the uncertainties — then it leads to the conclusion that there is a problem with predictions based on measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the leftover glow from the Big Bang,” said Filippenko, who is co-author of a paper announcing the discovery.

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