Jack Burns - Exploring the Cosmos from the Moon





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Published on Jun 7, 2010

Another lecture in IHMC's award winning lecture series.

The Moon is a unique platform for fundamental astrophysical measurements of gravitation, the Sun, and the Universe. Lunar Laser Ranging of the Earth-Moon distance provides extremely high precision constraints on General Relativity and alternative models of gravity. Lacking a permanent ionosphere and, on the farside, shielded from terrestrial radio emissions, a low frequency (less than 100 MHz) radio telescope on the Moon will be an unparalleled observatory for probing myriad cosmic phenomena from the Sun to the very early Universe. Crucial stages in the acceleration of high energy particles near the Sun, which will be harmful to astronauts exploring beyond the Earth's immediate environs, can be imaged and tracked with the lunar radio telescope. The evolution of the Universe during and before the formation of the first stars, black holes, and quasars can be traced for the first time with a farside low frequency radio array.

Jack Burns is a Professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado (CU) in Boulder. He is also Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs and Research for the CU System. Burns received his B.S. degree, magna cum laude, in Astrophysics from the University of Massachusetts, an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Indiana University.

Burns has held a variety of leadership positions in higher education, including serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs & Research for the University of Colorado System, Vice Provost for Research at the University of Missouri -- Columbia, and as Associate Dean and Professor of Astronomy for the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU). During his tenure at the University of New Mexico, Burns served as the Director of the Institute for Astrophysics and was a Presidential Fellow. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Burns has over 360 publications in refereed journals, books, and in conference proceedings and abstracts (as listed in NASA's Astrophysics Data System). His research has been featured on the covers of Scientific American, Nature, and Science. His teaching and research focus on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, supercomputer numerical simulations, astrophysics from the Moon, and public policy issues in higher education and science. Burns is director of the Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR), a $6.5 million center recently awarded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute. Burns is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was recently awarded NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal by NASA Administrator Bolden.


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