Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park. (Photo courtesy of Jane Platt).
Thermal pool at Yellowstone National Park. (Photo courtesy of Jane Platt)
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Jane Platt (818) 354-0880
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 1999
YELLOWSTONE PARK IS OLD FAITHFUL STAND-IN FOR JUPITER'S MOON
NASA scientists have found that when it comes to teaching
educators about volcanoes in the solar system, there's no place
like Jupiter's fiery moon Io -- except for Yellowstone National
Park in Wyoming.
With its blasting geysers and bubbling thermal vents, "it's
almost like being there," said Leslie Lowes of JPL, lead outreach
coordinator for NASA's Galileo mission studying Jupiter and its
moons. "Yellowstone is the closest we can come to taking
teachers to Io without actually putting them on a spacecraft."
About a dozen educators, escorted by Lowes and two JPL
scientists, Drs. Rosaly Lopes-Gautier and Bill Smythe, will
travel to Yellowstone from September 23 through 25 for a workshop
on Io, the most volcanic body in the solar system. Once they
learn about Io and volcanism in our solar system, they'll hold
teacher-training workshops in their own communities.
The event is particularly timely because NASA's Galileo
spacecraft is gearing up for two close flybys of Io on October 10
and November 25. During the flybys, Galileo's onboard camera
will snap the closest, highest-resolution pictures ever taken
These daring flyby adventures have their risks, because Io's
orbit is located in a region brimming with radiation from
Jupiter. The Galileo flight team is trying to prepare for any
problems that may pop up when the radiation bombards the
spacecraft's instruments and computer systems.
Attending the Yellowstone workshop, coordinated by the
Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Alexandria, VA,
are Galileo Educator Fellows, who have spent the past year-and-a-
half helping teachers understand the mission's discoveries and
demonstrating related classroom activities.
In addition to the Yellowstone workshop, several other
events are planned for educators who want to learn more about Io
and the upcoming Galileo encounters:
- Educator fellows will share the knowledge gained during the
Yellowstone event with the educational community at workshops in
the United States and Canada. These events will be held on
November 3, February 2 and March 1 in the Orlando Science Center,
Orlando, FL; October 2 and 9 and November 11 in River Grove, IL,
at the Cernan Earth and Space Center; October 13 and November 22
and 30 in Saint Louis, MO schools; October 22 in Wayzata, MN, at
the Wayzata High School; December 13 at Concord, NH at the
Christa McAuliffe Planetarium; on October 29 at a Lubbock, TX
teachers' conference; and on November 7 at a science teachers'
conference in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada.
- Regional National Science Teachers Association conferences
will feature special Io presentations by educator fellows. Dates
include October 22 in Detroit, MI, December 3 in Reno, NV, and
December 13 in Concord, MA.
- Lowes will present the latest findings from Galileo at the
California Science Teachers Association meeting on October 9 in
Long Beach, CA. The event will also feature an all-day showcase
of space missions from JPL and NASA's Ames Research Center.
- Some 225 educators for grades 7-12 will attend an all-day
workshop, "Volcanoes in the Solar System," at JPL on November 12.
The event will cover volcanoes on Io, Earth, and Mars.
Registration deadline is September 24.
The Galileo spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter and its
moons for nearly four years. More information on the Galileo
mission and the workshops is available at:
JPL manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space
Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute
of Technology, Pasadena, CA.