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NASA Announces AAS Events and News Conferences
Rob Gutro / Lynn Chandler
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-4044 / AAS Press Room 512-404-4604/4605/4606 /

Media Advisory No. M08-07

SAN ANTONIO - NASA researchers will present new findings to the media on a wide range of space science topics during the 211th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The AAS meeting runs Monday, Jan. 7 through Friday, Jan. 11, 2008 at the Austin Convention Center, 500 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas.

NASA researchers will hold press conferences and present research findings at the 2008 Annual AAS meeting during a variety of scientific sessions that are open to registered media. Noteworthy NASA-related presentations are listed below.

Press Conferences / Events:

Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission SM4
Tues. Jan. 8, 10 a.m. EST (9 a.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
Astronaut John M. Grunsfeld, who will conduct spacewalks to service the Hubble Space Telescope during the STS-125 Space Shuttle mission, will brief reporters on plans for the eagerly awaited flight. Other presenters include: Alan Stern, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington; Preston Burch, Hubble program manager, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; John M. Grunsfeld, astronaut, NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston; and David Leckrone, senior Hubble project scientist, Goddard.

Poster: Pair Attenuation Signatures in Gamma-Ray Bursts with High-Energy Spectral Components
Tues., Jan. 8, 2008, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CST), Ballroom G
NASA Goddard's Julie McEnery joins Matthew G. Baring and Brenda Dingus on this poster that highlights GLAST, with dramatically improved sensitivities in the 30 MeV-300 GeV energy band. Recent work exploring time-dependent expectations for burst spectral properties has identified distinctive evolutionary trends for internal pair creation turnovers.

Invited Talk: NASA: The View from the Top
Tues. Jan. 8, 12:40 p.m. EST (11:40 a.m. CST)
Address to the Astronomers by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

NASA Town Hall Meeting
Tues. Jan. 8, 1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m.- 1:45 p.m.)
Senior representatives from NASA's Science Mission Directorate and Astrophysics Division will discuss NASA's science program and outlook. Topics will include the status of the research program, highlights of operating missions, progress of missions in development, and anticipated opportunities for both non-flight basic research awards (grants) and flight mission investigations.

Hubble Space Telescope Finds That "Blue Blobs" In Space Are Orphaned
Tues. Jan. 8, 2:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
Finding blue blobs in space sounds like an encounter with an alien out of a science fiction movie. But the Hubble Space Telescope’s powerful vision has examined strange objects nicknamed "blue blobs" and revealed what they are and what likely caused them.

Cosmic Fireworks
Wed. Jan 9, 10 a.m. EST (9 a.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
The "GEMS" sky survey from Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has revealed new information about our universe and what may have been its "midlife crisis." Presenter: Shardha Jogee, astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin.

Black Hole Assortment and Exciting Results From Science Teachers
Wed. Jan 9, 11:30 a.m. EST (10:30 a.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
A new Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Centaurus A will be unveiled. Also, unexpected results from science teachers and astronomers using Spitzer will be presented.
Presenters: Gregory Sivakoff, postdoctoral researcher, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, and Astronomer Steve B. Howell of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), Tucson, Ariz.

James Webb Space Telescope Technology Town Hall Meeting
Wed. Jan. 9, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. CST)
The James Webb Space Telescope will be one of the premier astronomical facilities in the next decade. Scientists will briefly discuss the status of the program and review several of the major technologies that have been successfully tested in flight-like conditions. Speakers: Marcia Rieke and George Rieke will discuss recent detector tech progress and talk about the generic benefits to the community; Harvey Moseley of Goddard will discuss Microshutters and tech progress; Marc Clampin will provide project status and the schedule for 2008.

Hubble Space Telescope - The Violent Lives of Galaxies: Caught In The Cosmic Dark Matter Web
Thurs. Jan. 10, 10:00 a.m. EST (9:00 a.m. CST), in AAS Press Room
Astronomers are using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to dissect one of the largest structures in the universe as part of a quest to understand the violent lives of galaxies. Hubble is providing indirect evidence of unseen dark matter tugging on galaxies in the crowded, rough-and-tumble environment of a massive supercluster of hundreds of galaxies.

Hubble Space Telescope: Circumstellar Dust Takes Flight In "The Moth"
Thurs. Jan. 10, 11:30 a.m. EST (10:30 a.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
What superficially resembles a giant moth floating in space is giving astronomers new insight into the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

Black Holes Here, There, Everywhere
Thurs. Jan. 10, 3:00 p.m. EST (2:00 p.m. CST) in AAS Press Room
Chandra finds whirling black holes, and Spitzer finds plump black holes where least expected. Presenters: Rodrigo Nemmen, graduate student, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sol, Porto Alegre, Brazil, currently visiting Penn State University, State College, Penn., and Shobita Satyapal, astronomer at the George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

Scientific Presentations:

Gamma Ray Burst Discoveries With the Swift Mission
Thurs. Jan. 10, 5:30 p.m.-6:20 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m.-5:20 p.m. CST), Ballroom D
Neil Gehrels of NASA Goddard will give his Rossi Prize lecture and cover new findings from Swift on gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe.

Poster: Arecibo Synergy with GLAST: Unidentified Sources and More
Thurs., Jan. 10, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST (10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CST), Exhibit Hall, Room 18BC
POSTER SESSION: 114, Frontiers of Astronomy With the World's Largest Radio Telescope
David J. Thompson, from NASA Goddard, will speak. With the upcoming launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) and the availability of other high-sensitivity gamma-ray telescopes, opportunities for cooperation with the radio community will often involve a need for the largest, most sensitive radio telescope: Arecibo.

Poster: GLAST and Other High-Energy Space Missions
Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008, 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. CST), Exhibit Hall
David J. Thompson and Steven Ritz, both of NASA Goddard will present this poster about the upcoming launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).

Poster: The GLAST Science Support Center
Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008, 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. CST), Exhibit Hall
Donald J. Horner, GLAST Science Support Center, NASA Goddard, presents a poster on the GLAST Science Support Center (GSSC) serves as the mission’s primary interface to the scientific community. The GSSC supports the planning and scheduling of science observations and maintains a publicly accessible archive of all GLAST data products.

Related links:

> NASA's main AAS page

> 211th meeting of the AAS