NASA presentations at American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly

NASA researchers will meet with the media and present findings on a variety of Earth and space science topics at the American Geophysical Union's 2006 Joint Assembly meeting, May 23-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center, One West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Md. Media should call the Goddard Space Flight Center's Office of Public Affairs at (301) 286-4044 for more information, or the Joint Assembly's press room at (410) 649-7373 for more information onsite. Reporters off-site can join in on all of these events by calling 1-866-785-0537 and entering passcode 7525439.

PRESS CONFERENCE: MEASURING EARTHSHINE TO ILLUMINATE EARTH'S HISTORY, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE
TIME: May 23, 10:00 a.m. EDT, Room 323
SESSION: A21A
Philip Goode will describe the worldwide network of inexpensive ground-based robotic telescopes he is developing to measure Earthshine and better understand climate variables. Scientists also use Earthshine models to search for complex life on distant planets.

Participants:
Philip R. Goode, Distinguished Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J., and Director, Big Bear Solar Observatory, Big Bear City, Calif.
Pilar Montanes-Rodriguez, Research Professor, NJIT and BBSO
Wesley A. Traub, Chief Scientist, NASA's Navigator Program, and Project Scientist, NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph mission, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

PRESS CONFERENCE: NEW DISCOVERIES AT THE EDGES OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
TIME: May 23, 2:00 p.m. EDT, Room 323
SESSION: SH21A
Voyagers 1 and 2, launched in 1977, are the first manmade objects to approach the edge of the solar system. Heading in different directions, they report a large north-south asymmetry in the shape of the heliosphere, the "bubble" within which the sun dominates, that could be caused by an interstellar magnetic field pressing inward on the southern hemisphere. Voyager 2 could cross the termination shock at any time during the next year or two. Voyager 1 has found a new source of low-energy particles coming from the shock but, contrary to predictions, did not find the source of higher energy anomalous cosmic rays.

Participants:
Leonard Burlanga, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Ed Stone, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
Rob Decker, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

PRESS CONFERENCE: NEW OBSERVATIONS FROM SPACE POISED TO OFFER COST-EFFECTIVE EARLY WARNING FLOOD AND LANDSLIDE DETECTION
TIME: May 24, 1:00 p.m. EDT, Room 323
SESSION: H23A
Landslides and floods claim hundreds of lives a year, especially in parts of the world without extensive flood and rainfall monitoring ground networks. Using a variety of advanced new observations from space, scientists are beginning to build early warning systems with potential global reach to detect floods and landslides.

Participants:
Robert Brakenridge, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
K. O. Asante, U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Yangtse Hong, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, University of Maryland - Baltimore County and NASA GSFC
Robert Adler, NASA GSFC

PRESS CONFERENCE: REVOLUTIONIZING SPACE EXPLORATION WITH ONBOARD COMPUTERS
TIME: May 25, 9:00 a.m. EDT, Room 323
SESSION: IN43A
Software that enables spacecraft to make decisions on how and what to observe can dramatically improve science. This is happening on several missions to Earth and Mars and other plans are being developed. The participants will talk about current and future missions that will use the technology.

Participants:
Steve Chien, Principal Investigator for the Autonomous Sciencecraft, NASA JPL
Rebecca Castano, Principal Investigator for the OASIS, Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System, NASA JPL
Ralph Lorenz, Professor, University of Arizona

SCIENCE WRITER'S WORKSHOP: UPCOMING AIM AND THEMIS MISSIONS TO STUDY EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE
TIME: May 25, 10:00 a.m. EDT, Room 323
SESSION: ED33A, SM41A, IN43A, SA52A
This workshop explains why two upcoming NASA missions are important to understanding how solar activity affects the Earth. The Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission plans to unravel the mystery behind auroral substorms, magnetic energy powered by the solar wind that intensifies the northern and southern lights. THEMIS will help us understand how these space storms create havoc on satellites, power grids, and communication systems. The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission seeks to explain why mysterious brilliant silvery blue clouds keep appearing at the edge of space in the mesosphere. To what extent does the sun control the dramatic variability seen in these clouds? Are these clouds a temperature gauge for climate change?

Participants:
Joseph. A. Dezio, Deputy Program Manager, NASA Explorer Program, GSFC
Vassilis Angelopoulos, THEMIS Principal Investigator, University of California, Berkeley
Jim Russell, AIM Principal Investigator, Hampton University, Hampton Va.

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For more information about the American Geophysical Union 2006 Joint Assembly Meeting, visit: http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja06/


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