Dolores Beasley

Headquarters, Washington, DC

Phone: 202/358-1753

Steve Roy

Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Phone: 256/544-6535

Dr. Wallace Tucker

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA

Phone: 617/496-7998

NOTE TO EDITORS: N00-21

Images showing the full impact of the actual blast wave from
Supernova 1987A will be revealed during a Space Science Update at
1 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 11, in the James E. Webb Auditorium at
NASA Headquarters, 300 E St., SW, Washington, DC.

The observations, made by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory,
are the first time a blast wave has been seen at such an early
stage in a supernova. A supernova explosion is among the most
violent events in nature. Supernova 1987A, the first supernova
observed in 1987, was the brightest and nearest supernova to Earth
in almost four centuries. Chandra, launched July 23, 1999, makes
images at least 30 times sharper than any previous X-ray
telescope.

The Space Science Update panelists will be:

* Alan Bunner, Science Director, Structure and Evolution of the

Universe, Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters

* David Burrows, Senior Scientist and Professor of Astronomy and

Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

* Richard McCray, Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary

Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder

* Robert Kirshner, Associate Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center

for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA

The Space Science Update will be carried live on NASA
Television with two-way question-and-answer capability for
reporters covering the briefing from participating NASA centers.
NASA television is broadcast on satellite GE-2, transponder 9C, at
85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, frequency 3880
MHz, audio of 6.8 MHz.

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