Richard Conn Henry

Academy Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Bloomberg 201
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


Dick Henry joined the department in 1968 as its first astronomer. He is a member of the Principal Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; and a member of the JHU Center for Astrophysical Sciences. Since 1991, Henry has also served as director, Maryland Space Grant Consortium Observatory, which is located atop the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, and which houses the Morris W. Offit telescope, a fine half-meter reflector. From 1998 until July 2000, Henry was chair of the National Council of Space Grant Directors, and, from its creation in 1991 until 2006, he served as board member and treasurer of the National Space Grant Foundation.

He has also served as a director of the National Space Grant Alliance, a 501(c)(4) organization. From 1976 to 1978, he was deputy director of the Astrophysics Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA. He is a past Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. A native of Toronto, Henry obtained a BSc from University College, University of Toronto, where he won the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Gold Medal. He obtained an MA in 1962, and a PhD at Princeton University in 1967. He became a U. S. citizen in 1973.

Henry has been a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Study, research physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and a lecturer at the Latin American School of Space Research in Argentina. He has conducted astronomical investigations at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, and at both Las Campanas and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatories in Chile, and has participated in many rocket-astronomy experiments. He has made observations using the Copernicus and IUE satellites and also the Hubble Space Telescope and the Mariner 9 spacecraft (at Mars), and was a co-investigator on Apollo 17 and also on the Apollo-Soyuz mission, and was a co-investigator on the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope. He was a principal investigator in the study of the lunar material, and he is the principal investigator for the Hopkins Ultraviolet Background Explorer (HUBE), which was selected in 1996 April as a NASA MIDEX program alternate project. HUBE, in 2001, became a part of the highly-rated BEST round-three MIDEX mission. In 2003 HUBE was again proposed to NASA, this time as a SMEX candidate mission. But, sad to say, on November 4, 2003, the HUBE proposal was declined by NASA. Henry has participated in eclipse expeditions to Quebec (in 1972), India (1980) and East Africa (1973 and 1980). He was a member of the group that discovered the first x-ray pulsar.