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Official NASA Communication n02-080

Official NASA Communication n02-080

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 05, 2007
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Elvia H. ThompsonHeadquarters, Washington Dec. 6, 2002AGU Press Room, San Francisco(Phone: 202/358-1696/Pager: 800/759-8888, pin: 1254467)Donald SavageHeadquarters, Washington(Phone: 202/358-1547)NOTE TO EDITORS: N02-80NASA SCIENTISTS HIGHLIGHT SPACE & EARTH SCIENCE RESEARCHNASA scientists will present their findings, duringseveral press conferences, at the annual fall conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Dec. 6-10, 2002. Themeeting is one of the largest annual scientific conferences,attracting thousands of scientists from a variety of disciplines. The conference is in the Moscone Center, 747Howard Street, Room 112, San Francisco.Key Conference SessionsThe topics of the press conferences and the four conferencesessions listed below are some of the most noteworthy of hundreds of NASA-funded research findings being presentedduring individual sessions. All times are Pacific StandardTime.Mysteries of the Martian Rivers: A special sessionhighlighting new research on Mars, Friday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m.in Exhibit Hall C. Scientists from NASA and the University of Colorado say the bombardment of Mars by comets and asteroidscaused cycles of rain. The rain cycles led to globalflooding, the formation of Mars' river valleys and otherwater-sculpted features, more than 3.8 billion years ago.NASA scientists will be available for interviews in the AGUpressroom immediately following the session, from 4 to 5 p.m.For more information, see:http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2002/02_126AR.htmlLaser Technology Helps Measure Pollution From New York CityBuses: Atmospheric scientists used laser technology, whileriding in traffic behind New York City transit buses, to find
out how much and what type of pollution different types of buses emitted in their exhausts. The surprising findings mayhelp other cities determine what kinds of buses to purchasefor their transit systems. The study found conventionaldiesel buses are comparatively fuel-efficient, but producenitrogen oxide pollutants that can contribute tophotochemical smog, as well as large amounts of fine soot andsulfate particles. The authors will present their poster,titled "Gas Phase Emission Ratios From In-Use Diesel and CNGCurbside Passenger Buses in New York City," on Friday, Dec.6. For more information see:http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2002/1206laser.htmlTracing the Sun-Earth Connection Into the Upper Atmosphere:For the first time, a solar storm has been monitored by morethan 90 satellites, 790 ground-based radars, GPS receivers,and recently launched satellites. For six days in April, theEarth was subjected to a series of violent solar eruptionscalled coronal mass ejections or CMEs. CMEs, sending matterfrom the Sun toward the Earth at speeds of more than fivemillion miles per hour, create shock waves ahead of them. Asthese solar particles sweep into the Earth's magnetosphere,they trigger auroral displays and disruptions in radiocommunications. Following the solar events, dramatic changesin the Earth's atmosphere were observed by new satellitesystems previously unavailable. This session, on Monday, Dec.9, at 10 a.m., draws together scientists from manydisciplines to explore this phenomenon. For more informationsee:http://sec.gsfc.nasa.gov/Press Conference HighlightsFriday, Dec. 6, 12:15 p.m.NASA Traces Asian Air Pollution Over The PacificScientists expect the current rapid industrialization of Asiato be a major driver of global changes in the makeup of theatmosphere. NASA-funded researchers say the makeup of airoriginating in Asia largely confirms current estimates of Asian emissions, except for unexpectedly large amounts of carbon monoxide and black carbon (soot) air pollution. The2001 Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacificairborne field experiment provided an opportunity for
scientists to study the composition and chemical evolution of air as it moves away from Asia and across the Pacific Ocean.For more information see:http://www-gte.larc.nasa.govSaturday, Dec. 7, 8 a.m.Blowing in the Winds: New Applications for ScatterometerResearchThis press conference looks at the significant contributionsQuikScat data is making to global weather forecasting andvarious Earth research investigations. Among the findings tobe presented are some surprising effects that typhoons haveon creation of new marine life and how scatterometer data isbeing applied in new ways, such as regional flood detectionand monitoring the growing season in northern forests. See:http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/current/quikscat.htmlSaturday, Dec. 7, 2 p.m.New Insights Into Gravity from the GRACE MissionThe first image released from the joint NASA-German AerospaceCenter Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)graphically illustrates the sensitivity of the mission's twinspacecraft to changes in Earth's gravity. Color gradations inthe image measure changes in the distance between the GRACEspacecraft as they orbit overhead approximately 220kilometers (137 miles) apart. Such variations are caused asthe spacecraft fly over Earth's uneven gravity field, forexample, when GRACE travels over mountain ranges or underseatrenches. Earth's largest spatial features have been removedfrom this image so such smaller features can be highlighted.GRACE's extremely sensitive microwave-ranging instrumentationis capable of measuring variations at the micron, ormillionth of a meter, level. For more information see:http://www.csr.utexas.edu/graceSunday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.NASA'S Mars Odyssey Reveals More About Ice and DustUpdated information from NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft,highlighting water ice distribution on the planet and colorimages of the surface, are the most extensive andilluminating of the mission so far. By mid-October, thefrozen carbon dioxide that seasonally caps Mars' North Pole

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