BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. astronomer received a top honor on Tuesday for his team's measurements of cosmic microwaves, which may prove invaluable in researching the Big Bang.
Charles L. Bennett, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, received the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the 28th Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Bennett's measurements, first published several years ago, have proved to be the most accurate in the field of cosmic microwave background observation and have been broadly recognized worldwide.
Vice President Xi Jinping addressed the opening ceremony of the conference, the first to be hosted by China, and pledged further support for scientific research.
"We will make larger investments in basic research and ensure their execution, as well as provide long-term and stable support for scientists," Xi said.
Xi also called for active participation by the public in scientific research and broader international cooperation in the field.
This year's conference has attracted than 2,000 scientists from 88 countries or regions.