What do an Olympic skier, a science fiction writer and a submarine volcano researcher have in common? They'll all take part in events related to a "Day on Europa," a series of free public and educational activities focusing on the prospect of liquid oceans under the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, and its similarities to Earth's arctic regions and sea floor volcanoes.

"A Day on Europa" will take place Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21, since daylight on Europa lasts about two Earth days. Scheduled activities in numerous American cities will be transformed into global village events via the Internet. Highlights will include new imagery of Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft and a free panel discussion entitled "Europa-- Another Water World?" on May 21 at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium.

The presentation, to be broadcast live on the Internet, will feature science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010: Odyssey Two," via live telephone hookup from Sri Lanka. Other panelists include Dr. Ron Greeley of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, a Galileo project imaging team member; Dr. John Delaney, a submarine volcano researcher with the University of Washington, Seattle; and Joan Horvath of JPL, the Europa/Lake Vostok Initiative manager. Lake Vostok, a frozen lake underneath the ice in Antarctica, may have features similar to Europa. Dr. Richard Terrile of JPL will moderate the panel and JPL Director Dr. Edward Stone will give the welcome address.

The event is free, but tickets must be obtained from the Caltech Ticket Office, with information available by calling (626) 395-4652 or at the following Internet website: http://www.caltech.edu/~tickets/to.htm. The panel discussion may be viewed live on the Internet at the following website, which also contains information on other A Day on Europa activities: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/europaday. Questions for the panelists may be submitted in advance by email to: europaday@www.jpl.nasa.gov. The panel will also be broadcast on GE satellite # 1, Ku band, transponder 24, vertical polarity, downlink frequency 12.180, 103 degrees west longitude.

For those attending the May 21 panel discussion, a special "history walk" will take visitors through the past, present and future of our knowledge of Jupiter and Europa. Special booths with period costumes and displays will depict the Roman Empire, the era of astronomer Galileo Galilei, the Space Age featuring Voyagers 1 and 2, the Galileo spacecraft, and future Europa missions. Vendors will offer related memorabilia and Nikki Stone, a 1998 Winter Olympics Gold Medal-winning skier, will speculate on what it would be like to ski on Europa. The panel discussion is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PDT, with vendors and entertainment from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Door prizes will be given away during the panel discussion.

Many other activities for "A Day on Europa" are planned around the nation by some of the 84 Galileo ambassadors, who bring the spacecraft's findings to their communities. Free public events on May 21 include the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix, AZ; Flandrau Planetarium, Tucson, AZ; University of Arkansas, Little Rock Planetarium, Little Rock, AR; Century Norwich cable Channel 7 live broadcast, Mystic, CT; The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, IN; Shawnee Heights School Planetarium, Topeka, KS; Mary Hurd Elementary, North Berwick, ME; Norwood Science Center, Norwood, MA; KBSD-TV live broadcast, Brownsville, TX; Vern Burton Center, Port Angeles, WA; and Discovery World Museum, Milwaukee, WI.

Among the school events planned are those at Muncie Community Schools Planetarium, Muncie, IN; Elm Street School, East Machias, ME; Halifax Elementary School, Halifax, MA (on May 22); Lyme School, Lyme, NH; Rankin School for Technology, Akron, OH; Fort Vannoy Elementary School, Grants Pass, OR; and Charleston County Public Schools, Charleston, SC (on May 22).

Educational events will include a May 20 "electronic field trip," a satellite video broadcast with a curriculum targeted for grades 5 through 8. The goal is to reach 2 million students nationwide with the theme "Outside the Envelope: Exploring Beyond Earth's Boundaries." Teachers can sign up by calling (703) 503- 7492 or at the following website: http://www.challenger.org/ote.html. The Los Angeles Unified School District will carry the event live on its cable station, KLCS.

The series represents a major activity of Space Day, which is being observed nationally on May 21. Space Day information is available at: http://www.spaceday.com.

"A Day on Europa" is sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, which manages the Galileo mission for NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

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