• Planetary Times Newsletter
  • Opinion Corner
  • Message Board
  • Space Calendar
  • Featured Classes
  • Testimonials
  • Press Kit
  • Classroom Publicity Kit
  • Release Forms
  • Archived Online Chats
  • Contests
  • Space Fun
  • Trivia Corner
  • Orbital Laboratory® Payload III
  • Marslink®
  • Moonlink®
  • Space Explorers
  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (wood08 Chat Log)During this online chat, 37 questions were asked by 14 schools. There were 6 adults and 24 students involved in this chat.

    Hosted by Dr. H John Wood of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 11/13/08 at 11:30.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Space Explorers would like to welcome Dr. Wood as our host today. All of your questions will be viewed by a moderator. We will try to get through as many questions as possible during the chat period. Ask away!

    Vinay - Chat Guest at Huntley High School from Algonquin, Illinois asks:
    I understand that the occupation of aerospace engineering prospers based on a cycle. I'm positive that I still want to do though! I was wondering what downfalls I can expect when the business is not at a good point in the economic cycle. Thank You!

    Yes, there were many good jobs in astronomy and aerospace during the Apollo program but when that ended, it got much harder to find jobs in astronomy.

    Cara Wood-Ginder - Chat Guest at from New Hamburg, NY asks:
    Is Hubble Space Telescope going to be returned to earth after it's mission?

    No, we have not planned to bring it down. In the upcoming servicing mission, the astronauts will put a special bracket on the back of the telescope so that a future robot can attach a rocket for targeted demise.

    debora davidson - Chat Guest at myers corners elementary from wappingers falls, ny asks:
    Wwere you interested in space as a youngster ? What kind of training did you have to go through to become part of the Goddard Space Flight Center team?

    (image opens in new window) As an 8 year old, I got to look at the Moon and planets with a 12-inch aperture telescope at my neighbor's house in Baltimore. That was so impressive that it got me hooked on astronomy. I took physics and math and optics in college and built scientific instruments while I was on the faculty at the Univ. of Virginia. It all helped.

    Kevin - Chat Guest at Luther High School from , Illinois asks:
    When is the next servcing mission scheduled?

    The next mission has slipped to May of 09. Depends on how the check-out of the replacement computer goes.

    Veronica - Chat Guest at Jefferson Middle from , Wisconsin asks:
    What's your favorite part of working with the hubble space telescope?

    Working woth Hubble is like a person who needs to wear glasses finally putting them on. You can really see clearly. Before Hubble, we all sat at the bottom of a swimming pool trying to see the world above. The earth's atmosphere really is like the water in a pool distorting our view.

    Alaina - Chat Guest at Huntington from , West Virginia asks:
    What's the coolest picture hubble has taken?

    (image opens in new window) Here is one of the coolest - The Crab Nebula - the result of a supernova explosion in the year 1054. The star ran out of fuel an collapsed on itself leaving a rapidly rotating neutron star.

    Jake - Chat Guest at Nicolet from , Wisconsin asks:
    What kinds of things does hubble take pictures of?

    (image opens in new window) Here is a galaxy - M51 the Whirlpool. It is much like the Milky Way galaxy that we live in - It has about 10^12 stars in it.

    Zack - Chat Guest at Jefferson Middle from , Wisconsin asks:
    what does an optical engineer do?

    Optical engineers do many different things. Some use computers to design optical systems like telescopes and cameras. That takes good math skills. Others design systems taking mechanical training into account: how do you hold a mirror or lens so it doesn't get squeezed by the mount or sag due to gravity.

    Doug - Chat Guest at Luther High School from , Illinois asks:
    Could the hubble take pictures of life in ohter galaxies?

    Hubble has found many planets orbiting other stars by looking for the eclipse of the planet transiting across the disk of the star and seeing the dip in the brightness of the star. But most of these are planets bigger (and hotter) than Jupiter - so no life..... so far.

    Jake - Chat Guest at Nicolet from , Wisconsin asks:
    how far away can hubble see?

    (image opens in new window) Here is a picture of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field - on million seconds of exposure time goin down to 33rd magnitude. You see galaxies bak in time to about 1 million years after the Big Bang in a 13.7 MY universe. Google "UDF Skywalker" and you can drive around in the image and see all the young , disorganized galaxies that are colliding with each other.

    Hannah - Chat Guest at St. John's from , Texas asks:
    how many pictures can the hubble take in 1 day?

    Some pictures take many orbits to complete. Each orbit is 96 minutes so sometimes we take on part of one picture in a day. The final pictures are made up of individual short exposures less than 3000 seconds long which are added up later.

    Cara Wood-Ginder - Chat Guest at from New Hamburg, NY asks:
    Has the Hubble Telescope taken pictures of our earth from space?

    Some people think Hubble is far out in space and goes to the places it photographs. But no, it is in a circular low-earth orbit 300 nautical miles up so it can be serviced by the shuttle. So no pictures of Earth.

    Jim - Chat Guest at Valle Verde from , CA asks:
    when is hubble going to be replaced?

    The follow-on to HST is the James Webb Space telescope seheduled to be launched in 2013.

    Christine - Chat Guest at Myers Corners Elementary from Wappingers Falls, NY asks:
    When will the next eclipse happen near New York?

    I don't know - but you can google Fred Espenak at NASA Goddard who is our eclipse expert.

    Mrs. Johnson St. Joseph School - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    What guidance would you give aspiring students looking to work for NASA in their future?

    Find out more about what NASA does and go visit NASA Centers or go to space camp. I had a student Jessica who decide she wanted to go to Mars after space camp she came to work a Goddard for a school year 10 hour a week. She studied bone loss on long duration spaceflight and did an experimant. After college, she got a job a Johnson space center with Lockheed Martin studying long-duration bone loss - How cool to get a job insomething you love.

    Veronica - Chat Guest at Jefferson Middle from , Wisconsin asks:
    How big is the hubble telescope?

    Hubble is the size of a school bus - biggest telescope we could squeeze into the payload bay of the Shuttle.

    Christine - Chat Guest at Myers Corners Elementary from Wappingers Falls, NY asks:
    Can the Hubble see an eclipse happening?

    Eclipses of the moon are not very interesting for Hubble astronomers - but eclipses of stars by their undiscovered planets are vey interesting.

    Mrs. Bramfield - Chat Guest at Centennial High from , Orgeon asks:
    Where can students go to see more hubble images?

    The Space Telescope Science Institute has the main archive of images released to the public. In Europe it is the SpaceTelescope European Coordinating Facility - STECF.

    Mrs. Johnson St. Joseph School - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    How will the James Webb telescope differ from the Hubble?

    JWST will be a cooled Infrared Telescope designed mainly to look at the redshifted early universe.

    Zack - Chat Guest at Jefferson Middle from , Wisconsin asks:
    what;'s the atlas project?

    I'm currently working on a Lidar for ICESat-2 to measur the thickness of the ice in Antactica and Greenland. The ice is melting much faster than the models predict.

    Ben - Chat Guest at ST. Joseph from , asks:
    what's another interesting image hubble took?

    (image opens in new window) is of the Mice - interacting galaxies - they tear each others arms off but no stars collide.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Dr. Wood for hosting our chat today.

    Alaina - Chat Guest at Huntington from , West Virginia asks:
    how does hubble take pictures?

    The cameras are like very large digital cameras-they have cooled CCD chips which are very sensitve to low light. The camera in current use has 4 wheels with 48 colored filters that can be selected from Earth. So each color picture is composed of 3 or more black and white images through different filters.

    Jim - Chat Guest at Valle Verde from , California asks:
    can hubble see black holes?

    Yes!- Hubble has found that in fact almost every galaxy has a bit black hole in the center eating stars and sometimes other galaxies. M31 Andromeda is coming our way and will have us for lunch one day. Here is a picture: (image opens in new window)

    Christine - Chat Guest at Myers Corners Elementary from Wappingers Falls, NY asks:
    What was the most recent picture the Hubble took?

    It is a pair of galaxies that look like a "10" - result of a collision like dropping a stone in a pond.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    For the most up-to-date and complete listing of future chat events, please check out http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/events/chats.html. We look forward to chatting with you again!

    Kayla - Chat Guest at Luther HIgh School from , Illinois asks:
    what can hubble learn from the pictures of galaxies?

    You can tell the history of what happened to the galaxy and how it was born.

    Cara Wood-Ginder - Chat Guest at from New Hamburg, NY asks:
    Can the Hubble Telescope see meteors travelling through space?

    Yes, we have photographed lots of asteroids, which are big meterors.

    Alexander - Chat Guest at Valle Verde from , California asks:
    can people ride on the hubble?

    Astronaute actually get inside after they open the doors to service the instruments. But they can't stay inside - no air.

    Hannah - Chat Guest at St. John's from , Texas asks:
    why do we want to see what's in outter space? what does it help us learn?

    Space is an extreme environment: vacuum and cold with cosmic radiation - it is really coll to try to understand how Earth and water, air and people formed from that.

    Elizabeth Schmeisser - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    11/13/2008 12:43:51 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
    Site MapPrivacy Policy