The Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 12, 1998
Oct. 12, 1998
VOL. 28, NO. 7


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

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

WJHU's Marc Steiner Show and NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute will again team up to take listeners on a tour of the cosmos via the Internet. The two-hour show, which begins at noon on Oct. 14, is the second in a series of programs in which 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.

For space enthusiasts who miss the live broadcast, STScI will make the recorded program, with space images and animation added, available on the Internet. "Listeners will be able to access the site and log onto any part of the discussion they want, hearing that portion of the conversation, seeing the videos and photos and accessing documents," Steiner says.

Guests will include astronomy professor Steven W. Squyres of Cornell University, astronomers Mark Voit and Chris Burrows of STScI, and IMAX/Planetarium director Jim O'Leary from the Maryland Science Center.

The astronomers say that information gathered over the last few years indicates that environments suitable for life are probably plentiful in the universe. During the first broadcast hour, Squyres will discuss the exploration of Mars and Jupiter's moon, Europa. He will also talk about two upcoming NASA missions that 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 study more closely the evolution and structure of the universe. They will discuss the search for planetary systems outside the solar system and efforts to determine 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," Steiner says. "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." WJHU is Baltimore's National Public Radio member station.

The program can be accessed on the Internet at

It requires the use of a free software package "plug in" called RealPlayer, which can be downloaded from