Philosophical Society of Washington

Latest Results From the Mars Pathfinder and the Mars Global Surveyor, and an Update from the Hubble Space Telescope

H. John Wood
Astronomer and Optics Lead Engineer, Hubble Space Telescope Project, NASA Goddard Optics Branch

2086th Meeting Abstract
Friday, February 20, 1998 at 8:15 PM


Mr. Wood will give an illustrated talk about the latest scientific results from the Hubble Space Telescope. In the course of the talk he will demonstrate some of the physical principles astronomers use in understanding how gravity operates in the universe. In two brief reports on recent Mars probes, he will show three-dimensional images of the surface of Mars from the July, 1997 Pathfinder mission. The analglyphs will be viewed using glasses provided to the audience. Then some surface profiles will be shown from the Mars Global Surveyor laser altimeter, currently in orbit around Mars.

The talk ends with a discussion of the expanding universe and the life and evolution of stars and us.

About the Author:

H. John Wood is an astronomer and serves as a staff engineer for the optics branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Since June, 1990, he has been lead optics engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project. He led the team which successfully determined the optical prescription of HST while it was in orbit. He then led NASA's effort to develop and test the corrective optics for HST.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Mr. Wood earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Indiana University. He has served on the faculty of the University of Virginia, the scientific staff of the European Southern Observatory in Chile and on the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory.

He has been at Goddard for 14 years working on many projects for the optics branch. He won the 1992 NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the 1994 Exceptional Achievement Medal.

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