NASA presents at AAAS Annual Meeting

NASA researchers present findings on Earth and space science topics at the AAAS Annual Meeting, St. Louis

TOWARD ECOLOGICAL FORECASTS

Time: Fri., Feb. 17, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST (8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CST), Renaissance Grand Hotel, Majestic C

Session: Biosphere Monitoring and Ecosystem Forecasts

Can satellite observations spur the advance of ecological forecasting capabilities as they have catalyzed improvements in weather and climate forecasting? NASA's Woody Turner provides an overview of the latest efforts to use Earth observations and related models to link our understanding of the geophysical Earth system to that of ecosystems.

THE RANGE OF HABITATS ON EARTH

Time: Sat., Feb. 18, 3:00-6:00 p.m. EST (2:00-5:00 p.m. CST), Room 225, ACCC

Session: Astrobiology

Extraterrestrial habitats once thought to be uninhabitable have been shown to be, at least in theory, habitable. NASA's Lynn Rothschild discusses how research on "extremophiles" on Earth is used to gauge the minimum envelope for life to exist in the universe.

CHANGES IN ANTARCTIC AND GREENLAND ICE SHEETS

Time: Sat., Feb. 18, 3:00-6:00 p.m. EST (2:00-5:00 p.m. CST), Room 242, ACCC

Session: What's Happening to All of the World's Ice?

The state of mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is of considerable scientific and societal importance, yet it is not well known. NASA's Eric Rignot discusses the latest findings regarding changes in the velocity structure of the Greenland ice sheet based on satellite radar interferometry data, as well as implications for global sea level rise.

A NEW THEORY OF TRAJECTORY DESIGN AND NASA'S VISION

Time: Sat., Feb. 18, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST (2:00-3:30 p.m. CST), Room 224, ACCC

Session: Astrodynamics, Space Missions, and Chaos

NASA's Vision for Space Exploration includes missions to many different destinations and regions that require new and innovative trajectory design methods. NASA's David C. Folta describes how "chaos dynamics" can be used to design fuel-efficient spacecraft orbits.

NASA'S GREAT OBSERVATORIES: CHALLENGES AND REWARDS

Time: Sun., Feb. 19, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST (8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CST), Renaissance Grand Hotel: Landmark III

Hubble Space Telescope -- The observational improvements provided by Hubble over previous observatories has changed several sub-fields of research. Steven Beckwith of the Space Telescope Science Institute describes some of Hubble's transformational technologies and scientific discoveries that have created its success and ensured its future.

The Spitzer Space Telescope -- NASA's Michael Werner discusses the revolutionary scientific data from NASA's infrared telescope, including the first detection of light from planets orbiting nearby solar-like stars, surprisingly mature galaxies in the very distant universe, and a new look at the icy ingredients inside comets.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory -- Chandra was designed to observe X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe. Belinda J. Wilkes of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory provides an overview of key science results, ranging from within our own galaxy to the deepest X-ray images ever taken.

PRESS BRIEFING -- STARDUST: MISSION OVERVIEW & UPDATE

Time: Mon. Feb. 20, 9:00 a.m. EST (8:00 a.m. CST), Room 274, ACCC

STARDUST: SOLAR SYSTEM BIRTH AND DEATH

Time: Mon. Feb. 20, 10:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. EST (9:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. CST), Room 232, ACCC

Dusty Disks Around Forming Stars and Failing Stars -- Observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope have established similarities between planet-forming disks around young stars and similar disks around young brown dwarfs, or "failed" stars. NASA's Michael Werner discusses how Spitzer gives us a view of the processes within the disks that signal the start of the planet-formation process.

Dust Disks from Asteroid and Cometary Debris -- Spitzer has also surveyed hundreds of Sun-like stars in search of the dusty signposts of comet and asteroid belts, which are thought to be a remnant of the primordial gas and dust out of which planets formed. NASA's Geoffrey Bryden presents Spitzer results in the context of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

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NASA staff will be available to answer media queries at the AAAS Newsroom Feb. 16-20. Newsroom phone: (314) 342-5805.

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