April 18, 2001 (10:00a.m.-10:50 a.m.)

Dr. Ken Kissell, a professor at the University of Maryland and a Hubble Space Telescope scientist, chats with several classroom groups representing Grand Island Public Schools, Lexington Public Schools, and Westside Community Schools.



Welcome to eSchool!


Colette deFrey: Ha! Only fooling!

Patty McArdle: What do I do if one of my screens does not shopw an area to type a question?

Colette deFrey: I'd log out and log back in again. Also, be sure your screen resolution is set on


Colette deFrey: It has to be on the small resolution for everything to be seen.

Lynda Bowen: Okay, noe it's working but I do not have the web site on the bottom

Colette deFrey: http://ebay.com

Colette deFrey: Did you get that site?

Colette deFrey: When you go out and come in you lose everything that went on before

Colette deFrey: so the other person has to reenter the URL for you

Colette deFrey: It's a hassle, isn't it?

Colette deFrey: http://communitydisc.westside66.org

Ken Kissell: Some thirty years ago there had been flights of small telescopes to study the stars and

gas clouds in space, mostly in the ultra-violet light that can't reach the ground because of the

ozone layer about 40-50 miles above the earth. The images were much sharper than from the

ground since there were no winds and upper air turbulence to smear or jiggle the images. Putting

a big telescope in space, one with several ways to study the light (different science instruments)

would allow us to collect light from more distant (fainter) objects like stars, moons of planets, and

maybe even planets around other stars! Note: To make it worth while, it needed to last a long

time, so it was made to allow repair and even improvement with newly invented instruments over a

lifetime of 15 years. Some of those repairs and improvements have been made during the 11

years it has been flying over us at about 385 miles above the earth.

Ken Kissell: this was a test of cut and paste

Ken Kissell: http://www.apple.com

Colette deFrey: Is there anyone out there right now?

Colette deFrey: Anyone encountering any problems?

Ken Kissell: Yes. More sharply, in different colors, that is, some colors that the eye cannot even

see, because of the ozone layer and water vapor in the atmosphere, won't let the light in from




Ken Kissell: Yes. More sharply, in different colors, that is, some colors that the eye cannot even

see, because of the ozone layer and water vapor in the atmosphere, won't let the light in from


Janet Schutz: testing

Colette deFrey: We are reading you loud and clear, Janet

Colette deFrey: Welcome to eschool

Colette deFrey: The chat begins at 10 am , so don't log out! Just stay where you are

Ken Kissell: http://heritage.stsci.edu

Ken Kissell: http://hubble.nasa.gov

Jill Klingman: testing

Colette deFrey: Hi, Jill

Colette deFrey: We read you loud and clear

Colette deFrey: Welcome to eschool

Colette deFrey: Those of you who are logged on can go ahead and have your kids type in a

question so they are ready to go when called on BUT DON'T HIT RETURN UNTIL TOLD TO BY


Colette deFrey: Welcome Barb Bohlken's class

Ken Kissell: http://heritage.stsci.edu

Colette deFrey: Right now Dr. Kissell is playing with eschool to see how it works for him

Colette deFrey: Hang in there, the chat hasn't started yet.

Jill Klingman: jill Klingman's classroom is on line

Colette deFrey: Great, Welcome to eschool

Colette deFrey: Welcome to eschool, everyone!

Colette deFrey: It's 10 am and Dr. Kissell is ready to receive questions



Colette deFrey: This is very important!!!

Colette deFrey: You can type in your questions but do not hit return until told to do so

Colette deFrey: OK?

Jill Klingman: OK

Colette deFrey: Our first question is from Mrs. McArdle's students. Fire away!

Colette deFrey: We will move on to Mrs. Klingmans' group. Fire away!

Colette deFrey: Please have your questions typed in and ready to go when called on. Thanks!

Colette deFrey: How abut a question from Mrs. Bohlken's class

Barb Bohlken: Welcome Dr. Kissell. This is Samantha Feder and Justin Stearns from Underwood

Hills. First Question: What happened while you were in the Clean Room when the Hubble was

being built?

Colette deFrey: Dr, Kissell is answering this question now.

Colette deFrey: Please be patient.

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Schutz's group is up next, so type in your question. DONOT send it until told


Deb Harkless: Do you think there is life anywhere else in our solar system? In our galaxy? In the

Universe? We think galaxies are important and interesting! If we weren't in a galaxy would life on

earth be able to exist? Will we ever be able to travel to different galaxies to land on planets outside

our solar system? (from Lexington--Millie, Clarissa, Irma,

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is answering another question now. Do not send anything until called

on to do so. PLEASE

Ken Kissell: The last visit by me into the clean room was just before the declared it clean. Those of

us who were just engineers and scientists were too "dirty" to let us in. It was cleaner than most

hospital surgeries! Then they started bringing in the clean parts and we could only watch through

a picture window as the started to stack up the parts, which took 3 years.

Colette deFrey: OK, Janet Schutz's class may enter a question

Janet Schutz: How long did it take to get the deep field image, the one that has the many galaxies?

Colette deFrey: Good question!

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is answering this one now

Colette deFrey: Here's the website Dr. Kissell pushed a few minutes ago, Some of you might have

missed it. http://heritage.stsci.edu

Colette deFrey: http://heritage.stsci.edu

Ken Kissell: The first of the deep fields took over 8 days of continuous images, where each image

was of the same field. These were adde together, one on top of the other, except that each new

one was compared to the last to remove streaks left by cosmic rays.

Colette deFrey: OK, Mrs. HArkless's group is up

Deb Harkless2: What evidence of the existence of black holes has the Hubble provided? Are black

holes close to the earthor will they be at any time? (Lexington Shawn, Joe, Curt)

Colette deFrey: Another good question. Dr. Kissell is answering this. Be patient.

Ken Kissell: There was a second deep field in the southern sky which was given about 12 days,

over a million seconds

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is answering Mrs. Harkless's question now.

Ken Kissell: High-resolution spectral imaging suggests rapid rotation of the central part of some

distant galaxies, suggesting a very massive central body or bodies (smaller than the resolution of

HST) which might be due to massive black holes.

Colette deFrey: Mrs. McArdle's group is up now. Go for it!

Colette deFrey: Is Mrs. Klingman's group there?

Ken Kissell: No real evidence is believed to shpw small ones near the earth or sun. They would

perturb the orbits of the planets.

Colette deFrey: OK, let's go with Mrs. Bohlken's group

Barb Bohlken: How long does it take for a picture to come to earth after it is sent?

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is working on this one. Be patient!

Ken Kissell: The Hubble is under full-time internal control to steer to an area of the sky, lock onto

two bright stars near to the object or area to be observed, and collect data as instructed in the

stored commands. It moves immediately to a new target. However, data from the observation are

normally stored for several hours until a scheduled link through a NASA communication satellite to

the ground computers in Maryland. During this data readout link up, new instructions for the next

day or so for pointing, and for the science instrument to be used, always keeping ahead in case

some communication problem occurs later in the day.

Colette deFrey: OK, Mrs. Schutz's class is up now

Janet Schutz: Since the upgrade of the mirrors, Can you see dimmer stars now? (Klingman's goup

lost their dialogue box.)

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Klingman - log out and come back in again. See if it helps.

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is answering Mrs. Schutz's question now.

Ken Kissell: Put simply this means it could be 12 hours or more. By the way, the Hubble exhibit at

the SAC museum shows some of this -- if you can see it before early MAY.

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Schutz's class has the floor now. The answer is coming soon.

Ken Kissell: The fix to the early mirror mistake did allow stars about 8 times fainter to be studied, and

it allowed faint stars near to bright stars to be observed. These faint ones were lost in the fuzz

coused by the badly curved mirror.

Colette deFrey: OK, let's have a question from Ms. Harkless now

Deb Harkless: Do you think there is life anywhere else in our solar system? In our galaxy? In the

Universe? We think galaxies are important and interesting! If we weren't in a galaxy would life on

Earth be able to exist? Will we ever be able to travel to different galaxies to land on planets outside

our solar system? (Lexington: Clarissa, Brooke, Millie, Kursten, Irma, Kayla)

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell has the answer to this one! In fact he likes this question. Be patient and

you will see an answer soon

Colette deFrey: Mrs. McArdles group will be up next, but PLEASE do not hit return until I tell you,

too! OK?

Ken Kissell: Yes, I personally believe they will find fossil evidence off life on Mars, or on the moons

of Jupiter. There is life elsewhere in the galaxy and the universe, but we may need new physics to

communicate with it. [Faster-than-light travel, etc. This is the stuff of science fiction]

Colette deFrey: OK, Mrs. McArdles class

Patty McArdle: do you know anything about the mars mission?

Colette deFrey: Is Donna Johnson's class there?

Donna Johnson: Yes we are here%^)

Colette deFrey: GREAT! You all will be next. Hang tight and donot hit return until I let you know!


Colette deFrey: What about the Mars mission, Dr. Kissell?

Ken Kissell: The most recent mission began only some 10 days ago. I've seen no reports of

problems. It shoul require about six-months of cruise to get there. They will take some test

pictures of the earth along the way, I believe. Stay tuned!

Colette deFrey: OK, Donna Johnson's kids can go now

Donna Johnson: We have heard that there may be a telescope stationed on the far side of the

moon some day. Do you know what the projected timeline for this scope might be? Also, what

would be the benefits of such a location for a telescope?

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kisselll has the answer for this one! Be patient.

Patty McArdle: h

Ken Kissell: A radio telescope would be the best on the moon's backside, since it woul not get

noise from the earth. An optical telescope would be better placed in a valley at the moon's north

and south poles where it would not get two weeks of hot sun every month.

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Klingman's group is up next

Jill Klingman: How many new planets and galaxies has the hubble Telescope discovered? Also how

can you tell which comet is which?

Colette deFrey: This is a tough question, but Dr. Kissell has the answer

Colette deFrey: Be patient! It's coming soon

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Bohlken's class is next, but wait until you are told to hit return!!!

Ken Kissell: Comets first. In thew age of electronic cameras, 12 to 18 comets are discovered each

year. Only by following for a few days, and calculating an orbit for the new discovery can we

compare the new one with the old list of hundreds which have been found in the past. Actually,

the old one returning are predicted and watched for, so they are not surprises. 2.

Colette deFrey: Wait! He's answering the second part of the question now.

Colette deFrey: That question is "How can you tell which comet is which?"

Sally Calhoun: how any gigabytes were in the new softwear for hubbles computer

Ken Kissell: Now, for new discoveries of planets and galaxies. There have been thousands of

galaxies found in the two deep fields. There have been no new planets around our sun. About

fifty plkanets around other suns have been found, indirectly, by ground tlescopes in the last 7

years, but only one or two may have been detected by Hubble, if any. They are too close to the

central star.

Colette deFrey: OK, Mrs. Bohlken's class. Send out a question!

Barb Bohlken: Welcome Dr. Kissell. This is Samantha Feder and Justin Stearns from Underwood

Hills. First Question: What happened while you were in the Clean Room when the Hubble was

being built?

Barb Bohlken: oops!

Colette deFrey: Yeah, that was asked before!

Barb Bohlken: what problems were there besides the slightly oversized lens.

Colette deFrey: Let's go to Mrs. Schutz's class. Send a question

Janet Schutz: How can mass, temperature, chemical composition, etc. be detemined by analyzing


Colette deFrey: OOPS, on my part. Dr. K and I hit return at the same time.

Colette deFrey: He is now answering Mrs. Bohlen's question about the lens

Colette deFrey: Then Mrs Schutz' question comes next. Sorry!

Colette deFrey: He is answering the question about what problems there were besides the

oversized lens.

Colette deFrey: Be patient

Ken Kissell: The optical problem was actually in the 8-foot mirror, which was left too thick in the

middle by about 1/40 th of the thickness of a human hair! Other problems, about 300 of them,

involved electronic parts which were out of specification, failure to wire up heaters which were to

keep the edge of the main mirror at the same temperature as the middle, poor quality of the Ni-Cd

batteries (which were replaced by Ni-hydrogen oned before launch, etc., etc. Need I go on?

Colette deFrey: Great! Now Mrs. Schutz's question is being answered.

Ken Kissell: For Ms Shultz, in a second.

Colette deFrey: The question about analyzing light is the one he is dealing with now.

Ken Kissell: About 150 years ago, chemists and physicists discovered that each type of atom and

molecule had unique narrow bands of color emitted or absorbed when they were heated in a

flame or electric spark. Thus they could be identified as to their presence in the flame (a Professor

Bunsen even invented a laboratory burner named after him for use in these tests). Other

scientists found that the color. or more precisely the "wavelength" of the light was seen to shift

slightly if the source of light came toqards you or moved away [Doppler shift]. The brightness or

strength between different spectral lines from the same substance was found to change with the

temperature of the flame [or temperature of the star].Some spectral lines change or split into

several lines if a strong magnetic field is present. We can use these spectroscopic properties to

study what is happening on the sun or star.

Colette deFrey: Mrs. Harkless's group has the final question of this session. Go ahead and send it


Deb Harkless2: What "machines" are in the Hubble? What continuously powersthe Hubble in

space? How can control the Hubble to go in a certain direction? How fast and how far away dose

the Hubble travel? (Lexington Shawn, Joe, Curt)

Lynda Bowen: t

Lynda Bowen: t

Colette deFrey: Dr. Kissell is going to answer one of these questions due to time constraint

Colette deFrey: He will answer the one about what powers the Hubble in space. OK?

Colette deFrey: He is working on that answer now.

Colette deFrey: Be patient!

Ken Kissell: The power comes from the sun, with big solar arrays giving about 4.8 kwatts to charge

the batteries. The spacecraft is normally in the earths shadow for up to 35 minutes of each orbit

and needs batteries at that time. No rocket engines or other contaminating devices are allowed. It

would coat the mirrors!

Colette deFrey: GREAT!

Colette deFrey: That is the last question for this session

Colette deFrey: Thanks to all the students for their wonderful questions

Colette deFrey: Thanks to Dr. Kissell for his wonderful answers!

Barb Bohlken: Thanks from Sam and Justin at Underwood Hills

Colette deFrey: The chat itself will be on the CD website by the end of the day for you all to use

Janet Schutz: Thank You!

Sally Calhoun: thanks for lettimg us participate

Colette deFrey: Goodbye to all!

Donna Johnson: thank you

Colette deFrey: The next session begins at 11:05. Dr. Kissell will take a quick break!

Jill Klingman: Thank you

Deb Harkless2: thank you

Donna Johnson: thanks again


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