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NASA Daily News Summary

For Release: Dec. 13, 1999


Media Advisory m99-256

SUMMARY:

ON THE DAY THE SOLAR WIND DISAPPEARED,


SCIENTISTS SAMPLE PARTICLES DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN

Video File for Dec. 13, 1999

NOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN

ITEM 1 - FUTURE FLIGHT CENTRAL - ARC (replay)

ITEM 2 - ON THE DAY THE SOLAR WIND DISAPPEARED,


SCIENTISTS SAMPLE PARTICLES DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN- GSFC

ITEM 3 - WEST ANTARCTIC ICE STREAMS - GSFC

ITEM 4 - CLOUD PATTERNS NEAR CAPE VERDE ISLANDS - GSFC (replay)

Live Television Events This Week:

December 14, Tuesday


9:00 am - Countdown Status Briefing for the Hubble Space
Telescope Servicing Mission - STS-103 - KSC
1:00 - 3:30 pm - Terra Validation Testing - Vandenberg Air
Force Base, CA
4:00 pm - STS-103 Launch Readiness News Conference - KSC

December 15, Wednesday


9:00 am - Countdown Status Briefing for the Hubble Space
Telescope Servicing Mission - STS-103 - KSC
10:00 am - STS-103 Hubble Space Telescope Briefing - KSC
4:00 pm - Terra Mission Prelaunch News Conference - Vandenberg Air
Force Base, CA

December 16, Thursday


11:30 am - Live Commentary and Launch Coverage for Terra Mission
-Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
12:30 pm - Terra Mission Launch Commentary and Coverage Resumes -
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
1:33 pm - Terra Mission Launch - Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
4:00 pm - Live Commentary and Launch Coverage of the Hubble Space
Telescope Servicing Mission - STS-103 - KSC
9:18 pm - Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission Launch - STS-
103 -KSC

*****************************

ON THE DAY THE SOLAR WIND DISAPPEARED,


SCIENTISTS SAMPLE PARTICLES DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN

From May 10-12, 1999, the solar wind that blows constantly from
the Sun virtually disappeared--the most drastic and longest-
lasting decrease ever observed. Dropping to a fraction of its
normal density and to half its normal speed, the solar wind died
down enough to allow physicists to observe particles flowing
directly from the Sun's corona to Earth. This severe change in
the solar wind also changed the shape of Earth's magnetic field
and produced an unusual auroral display at the North Pole.

http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/istp/news/9912

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Donald Savage


(Phone 202/358-1547).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Bill
Steigerwald (Phone 301/286-5017).

For full text, see:


ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/1999/99-145.txt

-----------------------------

If NASA issues any news releases later today, we will e-


mail summaries and Internet URLs to this list.

Index of 1999 NASA News Releases:


http://www.nasa.gov/releases/1999/index.html
*****************************

Video File for Dec. 13, 1999

ITEM 1 - FUTURE FLIGHT CENTRAL - ARC (replay)

Contact at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA: Michael


Mewhinney (Phone 650/604-3937).
Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Michael Braukus
(Phone 202/358-1979).

ITEM 1a - FUTUREFLIGHT CENTRAL - ANIMATION----------------TRT :29

NASA¹s FutureFlight Facility, opening Dec. 13, 1999, is the


world¹s first full-scale virtual airport control tower. Located at
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, the facility will
provide the airline industry with robust test and research
capabilities within a safe, real-time, simulated environment.

ITEM 1b - FUTUREFLIGHT CENTRAL - ANIMATION----------------TRT 1:38

Simulations from the control tower of NASA¹s new FutureFlight


Facility, depicting San Fransisco International airport and its
virtual air traffic.

ITEM 1c - FUTUREFLIGHT CENTRAL B-ROLL---------------------TRT 2:33

Testing of the systems in the new FutureFlight Central facility,


showing both the control tower and the downstairs pseudo-pilot
areas.

ITEM 1d - AIRPLANE B-ROLL---------------------------------TRT 1:34

Montage of commercial aircraft at various U.S. airports engaging


in ground transportation maneuvers as well as footage inside an
air traffic control tower.
ITEM 1e - INTERVIEW EXCERPTS------------------------------TRT 1:52

Paul Kutler, Deputy Director, Information Sciences & Technology


Directorate, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

ITEM 1f - INTERVIEW EXCERPTS------------------------------TRT 1:37

Nancy Dorighi, Facility Manager, FutureFlight Central, NASA Ames


Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

ITEM 1g - INTERVIEW EXCERPTS-----------------------------TRT 1:24

Jim McClenahen, Air Traffic Control Analyst, FutureFlight Central,


NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

ITEM 2 - ON THE DAY THE SOLAR WIND DISAPPEARED, SCIENTISTS


SAMPLE
PARTICLES DIRECTLY FROM THE SUN- GSFC

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Donald Savage


(Phone 202/358-1547).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Bill
Steigerwald (Phone 301/286-5017).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade Sisler
(Phone
301/286-6256).

From May 10-12, 1999, the solar wind that blows constantly from the Sun virtually
disappeared--the most drastic and longest-lasting decrease ever observed.
Dropping to a fraction of its normal density and to half its normal speed, the
solar wind died down enough to allow physicists to observe particles flowing
directly from the Sun's corona to Earth. This severe change in the solar wind
also changed the shape of Earth's magnetic field and produced an unusual auroral
display at the North Pole.

http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/istp/news/9912

ITEM 2a - THE DAY THE SOLAR WIND DISAPPEARED--------------TRT :45


As the solar wind dissipates on May 11, 1999, the magnetosphere and bow shock
around Earth expand to five times their normal size. The aurora, which usually
forms ovals around Earth's poles, fills in over the northern polar cap.

ITEM 2b - POLAR IONOSPHERIC X-RAY IMAGING EXPERIMENT------TRT


:20
(PIXIE) MOVIE

Moving X-ray images of the North Pole reveal the "polar rain" of electrons that
fell on Earth's atmosphere on May 11, 1999.

Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin

ITEM 2c - POLAR IONOSPHERIC X-RAY IMAGING EXPERIMENT------TRT


:20
(PIXIE)

X-ray images of the North Pole reveal the "polar rain" of electrons that fell on
Earth's atmosphere on May 11, 1999.

Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin

ITEM 2d - POLAR VISIBLE IMAGING SYSTEM--------------------TRT :10

Ultraviolet and visible light images of the aurora borealis show the unusual
occurrence of aurora over the North Pole.

Credit: NASA/University of Iowa

ITEM 2e - POLAR VISIBLE IMAGING SYSTEM-MOVIE--------------TRT :30

Ultraviolet movie of the aurora borealis from the Polar VIS Camera during a
typical auroral event on April 17, 1999.

Credit: NASA/University of Iowa

ITEM 2f - MODEL OF THE SOLAR WIND AND MAGNETOSPHERE-------


TRT :36

A computer model driven by science data shows the Earth's bow shock--the leading,
colored edge to the left--stretching out toward the Sun as solar wind density
drops. The magnetosphere (gray shading) changes from a windsock shape to a
dipole.

Credit: University of Maryland

ITEM 2g - SOHO'S VIEW OF THE SUN--------------------------TRT :21

Extreme ultraviolet images of the Sun from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
(SOHO) revealed nothing unusual during the interval from May 9-11, 1999.

Credit: NASA/ESA

ITEM 2h - ISTP CONSTELLATION------------------------------TRT :37

A collaborative effort by four space agencies and more than a dozen countries, the
International Solar Terrestrial Physics program studies the Sun-Earth system with
many spacecraft.

Credit: NASA

ITEM 2i - NASA'S WIND SPACECRAFT--------------------------TRT :20

Launched in November 1994 by NASA, Wind spends most of its time sampling the
solar
wind on the daylight side of Earth.

Credit: NASA

ITEM 2j - NASA'S POLAR SPACECRAFT-------------------------TRT :20

Launched in February 1996 by NASA, Polar makes daily passes over the Earth's
north
and south poles in order to study the magnetosphere and the aurora.

Credit: NASA

ITEM 3 - WEST ANTARCTIC ICE STREAMS - GSFC


Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: David E. Steitz
(Phone 202/358-1730).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade
Sisler (Phone 301/286-6256).

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagewall/antarctica.html

Radarsat Maps Slow Motion White Water Rivers

Synopsis: Recent observations by a NASA-launched Canadian


spacecraft called Radarsat are giving scientists a remarkable view
of two fascinating features of Antarctica¹s landscape. Over a 24-
day period, the satellite captured new images of the frozen
continent, providing dramatic new data sets for researchers to
consider. NASA's study of Antarctica is part of the Agency's
Earth Science Enterprise, a dedicated effort to better understand
how natural and human-induced changes affect our Earth's
environmental system.

ITEM 3a - LOCATING STREAMS ON THE ANTARCTIC CONTINENT-----


TRT :28

Over a 24-day span, scientists used two images over identical


regions of Antarctica in a technique called interferometry. Their
comparative analysis of the images helped develop the following
ice stream animations on the west side of the continent, showing
flow rate and direction to an extent never before possible.

ITEM 3b - VECTOR ANALYSIS OF FLOW-------------------------TRT 1:15

In this visualization, longer black lines indicate a faster rate


of flow than shorter lines. The fastest ice streams can move 400
to 500 meters a year, a blazing speed compared to tributary speeds
of little more than 10 meters a year. Experts say the new
information can help describe large scale changes to the Antarctic
environment, as well as historical models about geological change.

ITEM 3c - FALSE COLOR ILLUSTRATION OF FLOW----------------TRT :49

False color data derived from the Radarsat interferometry helps


illustrate the areas of the streams moving at different rates.
Reds indicate areas of greatest speed, while greens and blues are
slower.

ITEM 3d - SNOWDUNES--------------------------------------TRT :23

Radarsat also enabled researchers to gain a better understanding


about a surface feature found only at the bottom of the world.
These snow dunes are believed to be highly stable waves of graded
ice grains, nearly impossible to see without the aid of satellite
remote sensing systems, and larger than the state of California.
Stretching for hundreds of kilometers, these dunes rise only 2 to
3 meters but may have a periodicity of more than 2 kilometers.

ITEM 3e - HOW THEY WORK: A VIRTUAL MODEL OF ICE STREAMS---


TRT :25
(ANIMATION)

Experts still aren't positive how ice streams actually work. The
current theory says that tributaries of slower ice come together
to create larger streams, often at points where elevation and
terrain act as a slight funnel. The convergence then literally
slides on a lubricated bed of oceanic muck covered by a millimeter
thin layer of water, gaining strength as it drives toward the
ocean.

ITEM 3f - INTERVIEW EXCERPTS------------------------------TRT 1:37

Robert Bindschadler, Glaciologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight


Center, Greenbelt, MD

ITEM 3g - INTERVIEW EXCERPTS------------------------------TRT 1:38

Mark Fahnestock, Glaciologist, University of Maryland, College


Park, MD

ITEM 3h - CONTINENTAL TOUR--------------------------------TRT 4:03

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest, and on average


highest continent on Earth. It¹s huge, too-‹the size of the
United States and Mexico combined. While over 97 percent of the
continent is ice covered, its surface is remarkably diverse.
Glaciers plow through 15,000 ft. mountain ranges, rising above the
land like citadel spires. Fields of crazed ice stretch out as far
as the eye can see. Icebergs the size of New England States calve
from walls of floating ice that are themselves as big as Texas.
By stitching together the RADARSAT data, scientists at Ohio State
University¹s Byrd Polar Research Center and animators at NASA¹s
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, have designed a
virtual tour of the southernmost continent. It begins and ends at
McMurdo Station; in between are thousands of miles of mystery and
beauty.

Courtesy NASA/Byrd Polar Research Center

ITEM 3i - FIMBUL ICE SHELF--------------------------------TRT 1:07

Icebergs form when hunks of ice break away from glaciers pushing
into the ocean. Ice shelves are the edges of those glaciers,
extending out into the ocean faster than icebergs can break off
from the edge. The Fimbul Ice Shelf has remained relatively
consistent in its appearance for the last 30 years, but
researchers are paying close attention to changes. Ice shelves
are considered to be particularly sensitive to climatic changes
and scientists have detected a marked retreat of several along the
Antarctic Peninsula. Note the fascinating formations along the
Fimbul, believed to be the product of glacial ice flowing over
rocky outcroppings and islands.

ITEM 3j - LATE VOSTOK-------------------------------------TRT :30

More than two miles beneath the icy cloak shielding Antarctica
from the sky hides a massive fresh water lake. Seen from
RADARSAT, the lake appears as a flat plain surrounded by the
sandpaper of craggy ice. As the topographical ice sheet flows
over the subglacial lake, surface features smooth out.
Researchers are considering a drilling mission to the lake for
exploration of this remote environment. It remains in liquid
state partially due to geothermal heating and partially because of
the insulating properties of such a thick ice blanket above. The
drilling project faces certain technological challenges. Lake
Vostok is also a human foothold on the continent. It was at
Vostok Station, located at the southern end of the lake, that
Russian scientists recorded the coldest temperatures on Earth.
ITEM 3k - LARSEN ICE SHELF--------------------------------TRT :30

In 1978, scientists predicted that global warming would lead to a


disintegration of Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves. Spaceborne
data indicate that this prediction may be coming true. In these
before-and-after images, note the dramatic change in the apparent
shoreline. Scientists captured the first image in using the ERS-1
satellite in 1992. As seen in the second image, collected by
RADARSAT in 1997, huge changes have come to the coastline. In
1995, a 2000 sq. kilometer section of the ice shelf collapsed into
thousands of fragments that eventually drifted out to sea.
Researchers are still debating why the ice shelf broke up so
dramatically, and what significance the break-up has for
interpreting local versus global changes to the environment.
Theories include a series of warmer than usual summers which may
have caused high levels of surface melting, or an overall climate
warming trend.

ITEM 3l - LAMBERT GLACIER---------------------------------TRT 1:09

Covering more than a million square kilometers, Lambert Glacier is


one of the world¹s longest and largest. It is more than 400
kilometers long, emptying a significant portion of East Antarctica
into the Amery Ice Shelf. Much like a major river system, Lambert
Glacier is fed by a complex series of tributaries.

ITEM 3m - EAST ANTARCTIC ICE STREAMS----------------------TRT :42

Prior to the RADARSAT mission, scientists knew little about the


East Antarctic Ice Streams draining into the Filchner Ice Shelf.
Now for the first time they have been mapped in their entirety.
The streams are actually enormous glaciers, stretching like
conveyors of cracked ice and snow across vast stretches of the
continent. The Recovery Glacier, one of the principal channels
comprising the East Antarctic Ice Streams, reaches over 800
kilometers into the continent¹s interior. Several of the
tributary glaciers feeding into Recovery and the large Slessor
Glacier extend for more than 250 kilometers.

ITEM 3n - THE RADARSAT SATELLITE--------------------------TRT :16


NASA launched the Radarsat satellite for the Canadian Space Agency
in exchange for certain operational executions. Unlike mapping
satellites that rely on reflected sunlight or infrared readings,
Radarsat¹s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is able to penetrate
cloud cover or work in the dark of night.

Courtesy: Canadian Space Agency/GSFC Studio 13

More About Antarctica and the Radarsat Mapping Mission

This project is the collaborative result of many organizations,


agencies, corporations, and countless individuals. Below you will
find links to many sites established by groups that played a role
in making this project a reality.

NASA/GSFC http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov
CSA http://www.csa.ca
Byrd Polar Research Center http://www-bprc.mps.ohio-state.edu
The Alaska SAR Facility http://www.asf.alaska.edu
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory http://www.jpl.nasa.gov
The National Science Foundation http://www.nsf.gov
Radarsat International http://www.rsi.ca
Vexcel Corporation http://www.vexcel.com
Environmental Research Institute of Michigan http://www.erim.org/
National Imagery and Mapping Agency http://maps.usgs.gov

ITEM 4 - CLOUD PATTERNS NEAR CAPE VERDE ISLANDS - GSFC (replay)

Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: David E. Steitz


(Phone 202/358-1730).
Contact at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD: Wade
Sisler (Phone 301/286-6256).

Images taken by NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor


(SeaWiFS) satellite on October 15 and December 7 showing the West
African Cape Verde Islands' effect on wind fields. The first
image shows the dust blowing from the Sahara Desert on the upper
right side moving west but getting trapped by the altitude of the
islands. The volcanic islands are high enough to interrupt the
wind field as seen by the clear water just south of each of the
islands. When wind blows past structures such as these, a vortex
is usually created in the wake of the water, as seen in the
rippled ocean currents.

-----------------------------

Unless otherwise noted, ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN.

ANY CHANGES TO THE LINE-UP WILL APPEAR ON THE NASA VIDEO


FILE
ADVISORY ON
THE WEB AT ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/tv-advisory/nasa-tv.txt
WE UPDATE THE ADVISORY THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m.
and midnight Eastern Time.

NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees


West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0
megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

Refer general questions about the video file to NASA Headquarters,


Washington, DC: Ray Castillo, 202/358-4555, or Elvia Thompson,
202/358-1696, elvia.thompson@hq.nasa.gov

During Space Shuttle missions, the full NASA TV schedule will


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http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/nasatv/schedule.html

For general information about NASA TV see:


http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/

*****************************

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end of daily news summary