Hubble Web Simulcast Takes Listeners On Tour Of The Universe

October 09, 1998

Second Hubble Web Simulcast Takes Listeners On A Tour Of The Cosmos

The popular public radio program "The Marc Steiner Show" (WJHU, FM 88.1 in Baltimore) and NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) will again team up to take listeners on a tour of the cosmos via the Internet on October 14.

This is the second in a series of programs in which host Marc Steiner's discussion and interview with his guests will be made available on the World Wide Web, courtesy of STScI's Office of Public Outreach. This is also the first time STScI will utilize multimedia technology to stream video of the science images along with real-time audio from the radio show.

Even if listeners miss the live broadcast, STScI will make the recorded program, with spectacular space images and animation added, available on the Internet for space enthusiasts to listen to in their leisure time.

Guests for the two-hour show include astronomy professor Dr. Steven W. Squyres of Cornell University; astronomers Dr. Mark Voit and Dr. Chris Burrows of STScI; and IMAX/Planetarium director Jim O'Leary from the Maryland Science Center, a popular Baltimore Inner Harbor attraction.

The astronomers say that information gathered over the last few years indicate that environments suitable for life are probably plentiful in the universe. During the first broadcast hour, Dr. Squyres will discuss the exploration of Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. He will also talk about two upcoming NASA missions which will look for signs of life elsewhere in the solar system.

Voit and Burrows will talk during the second broadcast hour about using Hubble to more closely study the evolution and structure of the universe. They will discuss the search for planetary systems outside the solar system and determining the age of the universe by looking at young galaxies. The guests will also answer listeners' questions about astronomical topics ranging from planets within our solar system to distant galaxies formed just after the Big Bang.

"My talk show tackles all sorts of intriguing topics, but bringing space science results and even pictures to a worldwide audience with commentary by leading astronomers is an especially exciting opportunity," says radio host Marc Steiner. "This is groundbreaking work for public radio, bringing you a live broadcast with pictures and text during our conversation. We are marrying the forms of media."

"The astronomers at STScI are enthusiastic about sharing the dramatic imagery and latest science results from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope through innovative ways on the Internet," says Dr. Carol Christian, head of the Institute's Office of Public Outreach. "A simulcast with the Marc Steiner program is a great merging of broadcast radio with the Web."

For listeners to "tune in" via the Internet, they need a free software package "plug in" called Real Player. This software can be downloaded into a home computer from the following URL:
http://www.real.com/products/player/.

The program, which will be broadcast at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 14, can be accessed on the Internet at the following URL:
http://hubble.stsci.edu/steiner/.

"After the show listeners will still be able to access the site and log into any part of the discussion they want, hearing that portion of the conversation, seeing the videos and photos and accessing documents," says Steiner.

"Also we want to hear their comments and critiques, and so listeners are welcomed to e-mail us."

"The Marc Steiner Show" airs weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. on WJHU, Baltimore's National Public Radio member station and a radio service of The Johns Hopkins University.

The Space Telescope Science Institute is the research center for conducting Hubble Telescope observations, and will also operate the successor to Hubble, called the Next Generation Space Telescope, to be launched in the year 2007.
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Johns Hopkins University

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