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  • Online Chat: Astronomy and The Hubble Space Telescope


    Chat Information:
    Live online chat with Dr. H. John Wood, an astronomer and an optical engineer for the Optics Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008

    8:30 - 9:30 AM Alaska Time
    9:30 - 10:30 AM Pacific Time
    10:30 - 11:30 AM Mountain Time
    11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Central Time
    12:30 - 1:30 PM Eastern Time

    How To Log In:
    Go to http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/mercurious/index.asp?room=wood08 to log in and begin submitting your questions. Questions may be submitted prior to or during the designated chat time. Wood

    Chat Host Dr. H. John Wood's Biography:
    Dr. H. John Wood is an astronomer and serves as an optical engineer for the Optics Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Since June 1990, he has been Optics Lead Engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Project. He led the team that successfully determined the optical prescription of HST while on orbit. He then led NASA's effort to develop and test the corrective optics for HST. In addition to his work on Hubble, he recently served as Science Liaison in the Instrument Synthesis & Analysis Laboratory for new Earth Science and Space Science instrument engineering design at Goddard. He participated in 114 concept studies over eight years in the lab. In addition to his work on the Hubble Space Telescope, he has recently been assigned as optics lead engineer for the ATLAS project, a lidar to measure the ice on both poles of the Earth.

    A graduate of Swarthmore College, Dr. Wood earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from Indiana University. He has been at Goddard Space Flight Center for over 20 years. In addition to the Hubble Project, he has been Lead Optical Engineer on other Goddard projects: the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment aboard the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). Earlier he served as assistant to the director at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile) for two years. He held a Fulbright Research Fellowship for two years at the University Observatory in Vienna, Austria. He also served five years as a staff astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. His career began with six years on the astronomy faculty of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

    Winner of the 1992 NASA exceptional service medal and the 1994 NASA exceptional achievement medal for his work on COBE and HST, he is the author of more than 50 research papers in astronomy and space optics. He was invited by the Optical Society of America to edit special editions of Applied Optics and Optics and Photonics News on the HST first servicing mission. He was co-chair of the HST Independent Optical Review Panel that was charged with the determination of the optical parameters for the HST while on orbit.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens after my question has been submitted?
    A moderator will review each submitted question and select the most thought provoking questions within the chat host's field of expertise. Since numerous questions are submitted for each chat, we cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered or that questions will be answered in the order of submission. We will, however, try to get through as many questions as possible in the time allocated. Ask away!

    Who can participate?
    Chats are open to students, teachers, and the general public. All space enthusiasts desiring to learn more about space are encouraged to participate.

    How do I log in?
    If you are a program subscriber, you may enter your username and password to log in at http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/mercurious/index.asp?room=wood08. If you are a guest, you will need to complete a simple form on that same page. Often, students without usernames and passwords submit their questions as guests or a teacher submits all of his/her students' questions under his/her username.

    Where can I find a copy of the archived chats?
    Space Explorers archives its live online chats at http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/weekly/onlinechats.html after each event.

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