News tips: NASA-related news conferences at Annual 2005 Joint Assembly Meeting

05/20/05

New findings from NASA missions and NASA-funded research will be presented at the 2005 Joint Assembly Meeting, to be held in room 236 at the Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans, La., May 23-27, 2005.

News conferences will be held on several Earth and space science topics including findings from the recent Sumatra earthquakes, research on solar flares, and updates on NASA missions to Mars, Saturn and beyond the solar system. The following is a schedule of news briefings:

NEWS CONFERENCE: Saturn's Magnetosphere: Like Earth's, Like Jupiter's, or Like 25 Years Ago?

The Cassini spacecraft's highly choreographed dance around Saturn is providing interesting results about the big bubble surrounding the planet, generally know as the magnetosphere. Since reaching Saturn orbit June 30, 2004, Cassini has provided more information on Saturn's magnetosphere than was available from the Voyager flybys. Its magnetosphere is more dynamic than Jupiter's and very different from Earth's.

Time/Location: Monday, May 23 at 1 p.m. EDT (Noon local CDT). Related sessions are: SM11A/SM12A/SM13A.

News Conference Participants:

  • Michele Dougherty, Principal Investigator, Cassini Magnetometer; Professor, Imperial College, London, U.K.
  • Donald G. Mitchell, Scientist, Cassini Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
  • Frank Crary, Deputy Principal Investigator, Science Operations, Cassini Plasma Spectrometer; Physicist, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
  • William Kurth, Deputy Principal Investigator, Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science Instrument; Research Scientist, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City

NEWS CONFERENCE/TELECOM: Another First!: Voyager 1 Reaches the Edge of the Solar System

Voyager 1 has become the first spacecraft to enter the heliosheath, the last step before it leaves the solar system. On December 17, 2004, when Voyager 1 was 94 times Earth's distance from the Sun, energetic particle beams became steady in strength, the direction of these beams nearly reversed, and the magnetic field strength jumped. New radio waves were observed. Voyager scientists will discuss why they conclude that the spacecraft has reached the heliosheath, as well as some puzzling and unexpected aspects of these observations, and predict what Voyager will see in this new and unexplored region of space.

Time/Location: Tuesday, May 24, at 10 a.m. EDT (9 a.m. local CDT). Related sessions are: SH22A/SH23A. Reporters Off-Site and within the U.S. may call into the News Conference by dialing toll free: 1-888-935-0266 PASSCODE: AGU.

News Conference Participants:

  • Edward C. Stone, Downs Laboratory , California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Donald A. Gurnett, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Alan Coffman Cummings, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Leonard F. Burlaga, Laboratory for Solar and Space Physics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
NEWS CONFERENCE: Solar 'Fireworks' Signal New Space Weather Mystery

On January 20, 2005, the Sun emitted the strongest burst of ionizing radiation in nearly 50 years. The event was captured by several satellites, including SOHO, TRACE, RHESSI, CORIOLIS, and ACE. The data show surprising science and have alarming implications for the importance and difficulty of space weather prediction.

Time/Location: Tuesday, May 24, at 11 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. local CDT). Related sessions are: SP21A/SP23B/SP41C/SP42A/SP51C/SP52A.

News Conference Participants:

  • Richard Nightingale, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Robert Lin, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Bernard Jackson, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
  • Richard Mewaldt, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

NEWS CONFERENCE: Latest Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity on Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has been examining an outcrop of layered bedrock, the most extensive one Spirit has found in more than 15 months of field work inside Gusev Crater. Opportunity has reached the edge of a landscape called the "Etched Terrain," which orbital images show to be intriguingly different from anything the rover has crossed previously. Rover team members will present the latest scientific findings from the missions and will report on the condition of these robots after more than a year of bonus-time extended work assignments on Mars.

Time/Location: Tuesday, May 24, at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. local CDT). Related session: P31A.

News Conference Participants:

  • Steve Squyres, Rovers principal investigator, Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Jim Erickson, Rovers project manager, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) Pasadena, Calif.
  • Richard Morris, Rover science team member, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

NEWS CONFERENCE: The December 2004 and March 2005 Sumatra Earthquakes

In the past six months the Sunda Trench experienced the two largest earthquakes in 40 years and the largest quakes to occur since the advent of modern digital measurement technology. The panelists will offer information from their latest research on how earthquake aftershock patterns reveal where the Sunda Trench moved and where it might rupture in the future, how GPS measurements indicate sliding and buckling of the tectonic plates, how seismometers and superconducting gravimeters reveal our planet vibrating weeks and months after the two great earthquakes, and whether we can observe the predicted earthquake-induced changes to Earth's rotation rate.

Time/Location: Thursday, May 26, at 10 a.m. EDT (9 a.m. local CDT). Related sessions are: U43A/U44A/U51A/U52A/U53A/U54A.

News Conference Participants:

  • Jeffrey Park, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
  • Meredith Nettles, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Yehuda Bock, Research Geodesist and Senior Lecturer, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
  • Richard Gross, Geophysicist, NASA JPL, Cal Tech, Pasadena, Calif.
NEWS CONFERENCE: Crediting Reductions in the Emissions of Air Pollutants in a Future Climate Mitigation Agreement -- Opportunities and Challenges

Air pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and particulate matter contribute to climate change as well as adversely impacting human health and agriculture. Reducing emissions of certain air pollutants can both benefit public health and mitigate climate change. In addition, when and where the air pollutants are emitted can influence their impact on climate. Scientific and policy issues associated with including short-lived greenhouse gases and aerosols in a future climate agreement will be discussed in this session.

Time/Location: Thursday, May 26, at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. local CDT). Related sessions are: A51B/A52B.

News Conference Participants:

  • Denise Mauzerall, assistant professor and Michael Oppenheimer, professor, both of Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
  • Jan Fuglestvedt, Research director, CICERO, Oslo, Norway
  • James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, N.Y.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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