Wee Subject: Exciting news from Bill Gutsch

From: Jan Wee: Food for thought from Bill Gutsch!

From: serber@appl.sci-nnov.ru: first votes from Russia

From: Jerry Bailey: Our Planet and Our Planet of Choice

From: Sharon Held: Getting ready to choose a planet

From: John Persichilli: Vote Uranus!

From: Jerry Bailey: Our Choice

From: chatchett@smtplink.pjc.cc.fl.us: The Great Planet Debate

From: Renee Crawley: Planet Choice

From: Fletcher L Phillips: Planet Votes

From: "Jake Chaput (Arlington Elementary)" : LFS & HST observation

From: "A.P.C. Spaansen": Re: Planet Choice


Wee Subject: Exciting news from Bill Gutsch

Dr. Bill Gutsch again with some exciting news ! I am very happy to announce that through my friends and colleagues Dr. Alexander (Sasha) Serber Research Scientist in the Astropyhsics and Cosmic Plasma Physics Department of the Institute of Applied Physics and Ms. Zinaida (Zina) Sitkova, Director of the Nizhny Novgorod Planetarium in Novgorod, Russia, this former Soviet Republic will be joining our efforts at LFHST !! So please make them welcome. Novgorod is a city of about 186,000 people between Moscow and St. Petersburg. So, another pin must go into your classroom maps !

A week and a half ago, I sent a video tape of LFHST Program #1 to them and very quickly they translated it into Russian (some day I look forward to seeing my self speak Russian !) and have already broadcast it on local Russian TV. (I think they are doing better than NASA-TV.) So everyone is informed about LFHST and very excited about participating.

More international news soon.

Dr. Bill Gutsch LFHST Smoke Rise, NJ


From: Jan Wee: Food for thought from Bill Gutsch!

Dear hst-discussers,

Hello, it's Bill Gutsch again. Today, I'm really pleased to announce that I have heard from my good friend and colleague Mr. Shoichi Itoh who is Director of the Planetarium at the Suginami Science Education Center in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Itoh is the most famous planetarium director in all of Japan (there are over 300 planetariums in Japan !) and he and some of his students from the Tokyo area will soon be joining our discussions here at Live from the HST. They will be working in conjunction with the noted Japanese astronomer Dr. Ebisuzaki who is on the staff of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (also known as RIKEN) and will serve as an advisor on that end. Please make them feel welcome and add another pin to your classroom maps showing the locations of all our LFHST participants !

I have been reading all the comments on discuss-hst and again congratulate everyone on being so busy. You have all really thrown yourselves into this exciting project that now stretches around the globe as well as out into space. I especially hope you will read Dr. Rita Beebe's latest comments (posted on discuss-hst on December 7). I think she does a very good job of outlining what types of questions you should be asking yourselves and each other as you try to narrow down which planet you most want to observe with the HST and what specifically you want to find out. As Rita points out, it's important to realize what can and cannot be done with one to three orbits of the Hubble (or what can realistically be done with the Hubble at all) and that what can be done depends on what instrument or instruments onboard the HST you decide to use. Also, even though all the proposed planetary targets have been observed by the HST and other telescopes and / or spacecraft before, there are still lots of unanswered questions. With this in mind, I thought I would also make a few remarks about some of the comments I have seen made by students on discuss-hst over the past ten days. In so doing, I just want to help point out some of the things that do not really relate to this particular project. In so doing, I hope I will help teachers and students better understand the situation and make the best choices they can as to which planet we will study. Additional comments may be forth coming from the PA's as well.

Among the "big questions" that are certainly interesting but which we will not be able to directly answer with this project are: Why is Uranus tipped on its side?, Why is Jupiter so large/massive?, and, Are there planets beyond Pluto? (Dr. Alex Storrs of STScI will probably have more to say about "big questions and how to handle them" in an upcoming message on hst-discuss). Also please note that Neptune no longer has the Great Dark Spot discovered by Voyager 2 in 1989 but in 1994, it did have a new dark spot in the other hemisphere. There also seems to be a misconception on the part of some that if we do not study Pluto right now, we will not be able to do so again for another 240 years. This is not correct. Pluto is a little closer to earth currently than it is for much of its orbit but we do not "lose sight" of Pluto nor is it substantially smaller in a telescope after this year. Dr. Marc Buie has suggested that we map Pluto again now with the HST to compare this new map with one he made with the HST a few years ago to see if there are any surface changes due to differences in the amount of solar radiation it has received over these few years. He also notes that now is a good time to do so because we can still see most of Pluto's surface as it rotates. Gradually, however, because like Uranus, it is tilted way over on its axis, we will see more and more of only one hemisphere.

I hope this helps a bit. After all, good decisions can only be based on good information. Finally, be sure to check out those great images of our four planetary targets on the Live from the HST and STScI web sites (especially the latest from Rita). They are excellent for showing your students just what can and can't be seen with the HST.

Send in questions if you have any. I'll be happy to try to answer them. Talk to you again soon.

Happy decision making !!

Dr. Bill Gutsch
Smoke Rise, NJ


From: serber@appl.sci-nnov.ru: first votes from Russia

Dear Discuss-HST-members,

I'm Alexander Serber, lecturer in Nizhny Novgorod Planetarium in Russia and also research scientist in Astrophysics and Cosmic Plasma Physics Depatrment, Institute of Applied Physics. For several days I will use my e-mail address to be a mediator of discussion from our side.

Owing to the courtesy of Dr. William Gutsch, we have received a copy of "Live from HST" TV program. I have made the translation, and on Friday, December 8, it has been broadcasted over Nizhny Novgorod local TV "Volga" in an (I suppose, unique in Russia) astronomical program "for adults youger than 16", entitled "In a team with stars". Until the deadline I will collect and send to you the opinions of schoolchildren and students.

At the moment, I have the votes for Jupiter from either following 3rd-year students of Nizhny Novgorod Pedagogical University:

Alexander Bravilov
Maxim Khovrichev
Ol'ga Bodunova
Vitaly Galtyan

and also from senior school people:
Alexander Verin
Yury Kulikov
Vladimir Gurov
Pavel Boikov
Vasily Spiridonov
Dmitry Panchenkov
Sergey Sirotin
Ol'ga Khlopina
Andrei Pudeev

The rationales, as a rule, are based on the possibility to make combined Galileo and HST studies. Using both on-the-spot measurements by Galileo and Hubble observations, one might get an unprecedented, complete set of data for further simulations and interpretation.

I hope to receive more opinions and tell to you.

Cheers, Alexander.


From: Jerry Bailey: Our Planet

Hi HST Discussion Group

We chose Neptune. The reasons are that:

1. It has a dark spot that keeps on moving.
2.Since 1979 Neptune has been further away from the sun. It will be like that until 1999.

Dave Sorensen,
Robbie Wasser,
Jennifer Khoshnood,
Lawrance An Lu,
Tillicum Middle School
Bellevue, Washington

From: Jerry Bailey: "Our Planet of Choice"

Hi HST Discussion Group,

We would like to do the planet Pluto. The reason why is because we will not be able to study Pluto for another 240 years because it is usually very cold because it is the farthest away from the sun. Right now Pluto is at its warmest temperature, therefore it is easier to observe it. Another reason why we would like to do it is because it has never been studied thoroughly by scientists. Very little is known about Pluto's atmosphere. The gases that make up Pluto's atmosphere are usually frozen as solid ice most of the time.

We didn't choose the planet Jupiter because it is the closest planet to us of the four gas giants that we can study anytime. Jupiter is also the most extensively researched of all the planets.

The reason we did not pick Uranus is because a lot more is known about it than Pluto. Also Uranus can be studied more easily and more often than Pluto.

The reason why we did not choose Neptune is because it has no great features about it like Uranus has its rings or Jupiter with its size and great red spot. We do not think that it would be interesting to study.

Omar Hakim
Russy Graterol
Tho Ha
Drew Barth
Tillicum Middle School
Bellevue, Washington


From: Sharon Held: Getting ready to choose a planet

My fourth and fifth graders here in Bellevue, Washington have been studying astronomy for several weeks. We are very interested in the recent activity around Jupiter. The HST project is also generating a lot of enthusiasm. In our first straw vote, the kids voted overwhelmingly for Pluto. Right now they are researching all four planets in order to make a more reasoned choice. We plan to vote on Wednesday.

Sharon Held
Bennett Elementary School
Bellevue, Washington


From: John Persichilli: Vote Uranus!

Dear HST'ers

I've been focsing on the Voyager CD Archive (as part of the Image Processing For Teaching program at the UofA), with emphasis on Uranus. I've done some interesting image processing of those images and have an interest in researching atmospheric processes, especially circulation and banding, or the lack there of and the relationship to its side rotation on Uranus. So, I my vote is for Uranus. The satellites also offer, as mentioned, a wealth of opportunity to study collisions and their effects on solar system bodies.


John Persichilli


From: Jerry Bailey: Our Choice

Hello HST Discussion Group

My partner and I chose Neptune. We chose this planet because it seems that it is more interesting to us than the other planets we had to have chosen from. There also seems to be a lot more inoformation on Neptune than most of the other planets. It is also interesting that 1 Neptune year is 165 earth years and one day is only about 19 hours.

Tom Taing
Matt Thompson
Tillicum Middle School
Bellevue, Washington


From: chatchett@smtplink.pjc.cc.fl.us: The Great Planet Debate

Here are the first votes from Pensacola. Dr. Wooten, our local astronomy club sponsor for the college, and astronomy professor here showed the "Debate" program to the astronomy club/young astronauts on Friday night. Instead of just voting for one planet or the other, they decided to each rank them in order of prefrence with 4 points being first choice and one point being last.

17 students responded. Here are the results:

Jupiter 44 points
Pluto 34 points
Neptune 33 points
Uranus 29 points

As you can see, Jupiter is the leader, but it was a pretty close race, especially for 2nd - 4th place!!

We have been doing quite a bit here at the Science and Space Theatre and in the astronomy club with the Shoemaker/Levy 9 - Jupiter impact, so interest in the largest planet is high in this area.

We hope to have more directly from some of our area schools soon.


From: Renee Crawley: Planet Choice

I teach a multi-age class of Kinder through Third Graders. We are in the process of making our consensus decision. The parents are involved and votes are coming in. Everyone is really excited and the parents are thrilled that their young children can participate in a great project. Thanks for the opprortunity to share this with my students!

Renee Crawley Tucson Arizona


Renee Crawley Email:craw3900@spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov


From: Fletcher L Phillips: Planet Votes

Meadowbrook Elementary School - Fort Worth, Texas

Grades 3 , 4 , 5

Winner: Pluto - Furtherest away and least known about

Second Place: Uranus


From: "Jake Chaput (Arlington Elementary)" : LFS & HST observation

Hi Everyone in the HST project.

My class actively participated in the LFS project and are now part of the HST project. This past Thursday I took my class to the Vassar College Observatory at night to view stars through the telescope and to do some constellation work. The astronomer first asked the children if they had questions about astronomy. Wow, did he get questions! I could see his eyebrows go up as he was surprised by the wealth of questions these 8 - 10 year olds had been thinking about from their experiences in the LFS and HST projects. I just stood in the back of the room like a proud "dad". We have often talked about evaluation of these projects and this was my best observation of what has happened to my children's interests and ability to ask questions. I had to stop them because I wanted to get them outside and do the observations before their parents picked them up. What an experience! Jake Chaput


From: "A.P.C. Spaansen": Re: Planet Choice

To Kevin M. Holtz,

You wrote:

> I am a freshman and BGSU in Bowling Green Ohio. I vote for Pluto because it is the planet we know least about. Yes, that's true. But it is also very small and distant. Perhaps the HST can obtain better data with its instruments from Saturn etc.

Andre Spaansen,
Groningen, The Netherlands, Europe.