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Archive for 2007

James Manning Appointed as ASP Executive Director

March 21, 2007 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) announced today that James Manning has been appointed to the position of Executive Director. Currently serving as Head of the Office of Public Outreach of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Mr. Manning will take up his new duties in San Francisco in early July.  More »


A Scientist in Space and Searching for Earth-like Planets: NASA’s Kepler Mission

Dr. Janice VossMarch 7, 2007

Dr. Janice Voss (NASA Ames Research Center)

Listen (mp3 file, 17.5 MB)

Dr. Voss, who has logged 49 days in space (traveling almost 19 million miles in 779 Earth orbits) discusses her work in space and what it’s like flying on the Shuttle as a scientist. She then talks about NASA’s upcoming Kepler mission, which will use a telescope in space to search for “transits” — when a planet orbiting another star moves in front of its star and blocks its light. Although a planet might only block a tiny fraction of the light from a star, that decrease in brightness is enough to give a clear signal that the planet is there. With this mission, scientists hope to be able to find not only Jupiter and Saturn-sized planets, but also those as small as Earth. At the end, Dr. Voss answers a number of audience questions about both aspects of her work.


Glimpsing the Edge of the Universe: Results from the Hubble Space Telescope

Dr. Bruce MargonJanuary 24, 2007

Dr. Bruce Margon (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Listen (mp3 file, 24 MB)

The Hubble Space Telescope has circled the Earth 15 times every day for more than 16 years. Dr. Margon, who was until recently the Associate Director for Science for the Hubble, describes the most important discoveries made with the telescope and how it can show us new details of the universe from the solar system to the most distant reaches of space. In addition, he briefly discusses the future of the Hubble and some interesting public reactions to it.