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March 8, 1999

Kathleen Burton

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000) email:


NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to cover a NASA press conference broadcast live from NASA Headquarters tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9, at 10 a. m. PST. Reporters can participate in the briefing from the auditorium of Bldg. N-201 at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101 and drive east to the Moffett Federal Airfield main gate. Stop by the Visitor Badging Office to obtain visitor passes to gain entry.


Scientists will announce on Tuesday, March 9, 1999, their discovery of a possible way to forecast several days in advance the largest and most violent explosions on the Sun's outer atmosphere. Their announcement will be made during a live press conference at NASA Headquarters starting at 10 a.m. PST. The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA TV with two-way question and answer capability for reporters at NASA Ames.

The solar explosions scientists hope to forecast, called coronal mass ejections, are as powerful as billions of nuclear explosions and can affect radio communications, electrical power systems and satellites orbiting Earth. The scientists will discuss how they made the discovery using images from the Japanese/U.S. Yohkoh satellite, what we know about such explosions, and how this new tool will be used in forecasting solar activity and its effects on Earth. Panelists will be:

* Dr. Richard Canfield, Research Professor, Physics Department, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

* Dr. Sarah Gibson, postdoctoral fellow, University of Cambridge, England

* Dr. David M. Rust, Senior Physicist, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD

* Dr. Alphonse Sterling, solar physicist, Computational Physics, Inc, Fairfax, VA

* Dr. George Withbroe, Science Director for the Sun-Earth Connections science theme, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, panel moderator

NASA Television is broadcast on the GE2 satellite located on Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880.0 Mhz, audio 6.8 MHz. Audio of the broadcast will be available on voice circuit at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on 407/867-1220/1230/1240.

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