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Published on May 12, 2013
Alex Filippenko received his Ph.D. in astronomy from Caltech in 1984 and joined the University of California, Berkeley faculty in 1986, where he is currently the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences. An observational astronomer who makes frequent use of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck 10- meter telescopes, his primary areas of research are supernovae, active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the Universe. Filippenko's research accomplishments, documented in more than 700 published papers, have been recognized with several major awards, including election to the US National Academy of Sciences. One of the world's most highly cited astronomers, he was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the Universe, propelled by mysterious "dark energy." This discovery was deemed the "Top Breakthrough of 1998" by the editors of Science magazine. The teams received the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their discovery, which was subsequently honored with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to the leaders.
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