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Jonathan Trump, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Jonathan Trump, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics | University of Connecticut


Jonathan Trump is an observational astronomer who studies active galaxies



Jonathan Trump is an observational astronomer who studies active galaxies, which are galaxies with accreting supermassive black holes. He is particularly interested in the co-evolving growth of black holes and galaxies: How do galaxies feed their black holes, and how do black holes influence star formation in their host galaxies.

Because active galaxies emit over a wide range of energies, he utilizes telescopes spanning the electromagnetic spectrum. He has experience observing x-rays (Chandra, XMM-Newton), ultraviolet (GALEX), optical (Hubble, Keck, Subaru, Magellan), infrared (Spitzer, Herschel), and radio (VLA) light. He has been awarded several programs on the James Webb Space Telescope to understand the formation and growth of the first black holes and galaxies.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Physics and Astronomy

Black Holes

Supermassive Black Holes

Active Galaxies

Education (3)

University of Arizona: Ph.D., Astronomy 2010

Penn State University: B.Sc., Astronomy 2004

Penn State University: B.Sc., Physics 2004

Affiliations (1)

  • American Astronomical Society : Member

Accomplishments (3)

National Science Foundation CAREER Award (professional)


Hubble Fellowship (professional)


Steward Observatory Outstanding Research Award (professional)






Jonathan Trump, a UConn associate professor of physics and one of the collaborators for the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey project, analyzes images from the James Webb Space Telescope for the project in Gant South Building on Jan. 4, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo) loading image Astronomers Kate Whitaker, left, Jonathan Trump, and Cara Battersby at the UConn Physics Observatory on Oct. 14, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo) loading image


Our View of the Universe: From Hubble to James Webb | Jonathan Trump | TEDxUConn Jonathan Trump (UCO/Lick Obseratory/Penn State) Astronomy Seminar 09.16.13 Connecticut professor involved in research using NASA's new generation space telescope


Media Appearances (6)

How to safely watch the solar eclipse

NBC Connecticut  tv


First and foremost: to watch this out-of-this-world display April 8, don’t even think about looking right at the sun. “Most important thing, do not look directly at the solar eclipse with your eyes,” said UConn associate professor of physics Jonathan Trump. “Here in Connecticut the eclipse will be about 90% which is pretty spectacular, but even 10% of the sun’s light is a lot of the sun’s light.”

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Jon Trump, Astronomer in UConn Physics, Talks about the April 8 Eclipse

WILI - The Wayne Norman Show  radio


Jon Trump, an astronomer in UConn Physics, talks with Wayne Norman about the 90% solar eclipse happening on April 8, 2024.

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There's a slight chance Connecticut will have a view of the northern lights tonight

Hearst Connecticut Media  print


The aurora borealis was visible last night, glowing in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine skies, with reports coming in from the Mount Washington Observatory. But might it be possible to see those northern lights tonight in Connecticut? Jonathan Trump, professor of astronomy at the University of Connecticut, told CT Insider that there might still be a chance tonight, but it’s hard to say for sure.

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How the James Webb Space Telescope has revealed a surprisingly bright, complex and element-filled early universe

The Conversation  online


You can see these galaxies in the images NASA has released. Jonathan Trump, an astronomer at the University of Connecticut, is on one of the teams working on some of the early James Webb data. He was watching the release of the first images live and noticed some things many nonastronomers might have missed. “In the background, behind these beautiful arcs and spirals and massive elliptical galaxies are these tiny, itty-bitty red smudges. That’s what I was most interested in, because those are some of the first galaxies in the universe.”

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Connecticut scientists hope to benefit from the James Webb Space Telescope

Connecticut Public Radio  radio


“I’m actually just blown away. It’s more spectacular than I could have imagined,” Jonathan Trump, UConn associate professor of physics, said in describing the images and information released so far.

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UConn Looks to the Stars with Increased Interest in Astronomy

WHUS  radio


Astronomy is not new to UConn. In fact, the observatory used by the university today dates back to the 1960’s. Although astronomy has always had a home in Storrs, the university recently decided to ramp up their participation in the field, according to Physics Professor Jonathan Trump. “Two years ago, there were no astronomers at UConn and the physics department decided to invest and start an astronomy research program as well as an astronomy academic program… The UConn physics department hired three astronomers, I’m one of those three. So, they went from zero astronomers to three and sort of said ‘okay guys, bring us a new astronomy program,” Trump said.

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Articles (5)

CEERS MIRI Imaging: Data Reduction and Quality Assessment

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

2023 The Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey (CEERS), targeting the Extended Groth Strip extragalactic field, is one of the James Webb Space Telescope Director's Discretionary Early Release Science programs. To date, all observations have been executed and include NIRCam/MIRI imaging and NIRSpec/NIRCam spectroscopic exposures. Here we discuss the MIRI imaging, which includes eight pointings, four of which provide deep imaging with the bluer bands (F560W and F770W) and four of which provide contiguous wavelength coverage in F1000W, F1280W, F1500W, and F1800W, where two of these also include coverage in F770W and F2100W.

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The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project: The Black Hole Mass–Stellar Mass Relations at 0.2≲ z≲ 0.8

The Astrophysical Journal

2023 We measure the correlation between black hole mass M BH and host stellar mass M* for a sample of 38 broad-line quasars at 0.2≲ z≲ 0.8 (median redshift z med= 0.5). The black hole masses are derived from a dedicated reverberation mapping program for distant quasars, and the stellar masses are derived from two-band optical+ IR Hubble Space Telescope imaging. Most of these quasars are well centered within≲ 1 kpc from the host galaxy centroid, with only a few cases in merging/disturbed systems showing larger spatial offsets. Our sample spans two orders of magnitude in stellar mass (∼ 10 9–10 11 M⊙) and black hole mass (∼ 10 7–10 9 M⊙) and reveals a significant correlation between the two quantities.

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A CEERS Discovery of an Accreting Supermassive Black Hole 570 Myr after the Big Bang: Identifying a Progenitor of Massive z> 6 Quasars

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

2023 We report the discovery of an accreting supermassive black hole at z= 8.679. This galaxy, denoted here as CEERS_1019, was previously discovered as a Lyα-break galaxy by Hubble with a Lyα redshift from Keck. As part of the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) survey, we have observed this source with JWST/NIRSpec, MIRI, NIRCam, and NIRCam/WFSS and uncovered a plethora of emission lines. The Hβ line is best fit by a narrow plus a broad component, where the latter is measured at 2.5σ with an FWHM∼ 1200 km s− 1. We conclude this originates in the broadline region of an active galactic nucleus (AGN).

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Confirmation and refutation of very luminous galaxies in the early universe


2023 During the first 500 million years of cosmic history, the first stars and galaxies formed, seeding the Universe with heavy elements and eventually reionizing the intergalactic medium (1; 2; 3). Observations with JWST have uncovered a surprisingly high abundance of candidates for early star-forming galaxies, with distances (redshifts, ), estimated from multi-band photometry, as large as , far beyond pre-JWST limits (4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9). While generally robust, such photometric redshifts can suffer from degeneracies and occasionally catastrophic errors.

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The Eighteenth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys: Targeting and First Spectra from SDSS-V

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series

2023 The eighteenth data release (DR18) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is the first one for SDSS-V, the fifth generation of the survey. SDSS-V comprises three primary scientific programs or" Mappers": the Milky Way Mapper (MWM), the Black Hole Mapper (BHM), and the Local Volume Mapper. This data release contains extensive targeting information for the two multiobject spectroscopy programs (MWM and BHM), including input catalogs and selection functions for their numerous scientific objectives. We describe the production of the targeting databases and their calibration and scientifically focused components. DR18 also includes∼ 25,000 new SDSS spectra and supplemental information for X-ray sources identified by eROSITA in its eFEDS field. We present updates to some of the SDSS software pipelines and preview changes anticipated for DR19.

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