PLEASE NOTE:


*
Date sent:        Fri, 23 Jan 1998 14:24:37 -0500 (EST)
From:             HUMBPEIS B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk
Subject:          CC-DIGEST, 23/01/98
To:               cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority:         NORMAL

CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE DIGEST, 23 January 1998

The cambridge-conference-list is a scholarly electronic network
organised by Dr Benny J Peiser at Liverpool John Moores
University, United Kingdom). For further information, please
contact b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk .

Information circulated on this network is for scholarly use only.
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(1) WHY SELLING PLANETARY DEFENSE IS STILL HARD GOING

(2) SCANNING THE SKIES FOR METEOR STREAMS: TECHNIQUES & PROBLEMS

(3) BRITISH SCIENTISTS DEVELOP METEOR SCATTER PREDICTION MODEL

(4) HOW TO DETERMINE PERIODS OF METEOR STREAM ACTIVITY

(5) OBSERVING METEORIC BOLIDES FROM THE GROUND AND FROM SPACE

(6) METEOROID ORBITS: IMPLICATIONS FOR NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SEARCH
    PROGRAMS

(7) ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF METEOROIDS FROM SHORT PERIOD COMETS

(8) HOW AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS CAN ENHANCE OUR KNOWLEDGE OF METEORIC
    ACTIVITY AND CONTRIBUTE TO PLANETARY DEFENSE EFFORTS
 

==============================
(1) WHY SELLING PLANETARY DEFENSE IS STILL HARD GOING

From: Bob Kobres bkobres@uga.cc.uga.edu

As one who has been trying to 'sell' the idea of defending our planet
for about seventeen years now I can say that receptivity to the idea
is by far greater today than it ever has been. A problem that
remains, however, is that there is still no sense of urgency
associated with implementing such a defense system. This leisurely
approach to the situation is in large part due to comforting
statements made over the years by individuals within the academic
community who are seen as authorities and periodically questioned
about the risk we actually face. It once seemed to me that it was a
requirement to conclude an article on this subject with a `not to
worry though' paragraph before the paper would be published--mustn't
frighten the public you know.  Perhaps there was a bit of social
concern in not wanting to be an alarmist, however it is less than
honest to say that we KNOW anything about how soon another event
could occur. I mention this because there is still a good deal of
confusion among people, who have only a cursory interest in this
subject, about the frequency or contemporary likelihood of impact
occurrence.

If we want adequate funding and an ambitious agenda for mitigating
this threat we need to speak more forcefully.  I noticed in Duncan
Steel's note on the demise of the Australian NEO program that he
said: "The probability of such an impact catastrophe occurring soon
is small, but the stakes are too high to ignore."  Now there is
nothing factually wrong with this statement, however a casual reader
might take comfort while skimming this text that the probability
of an impact catastrophe occurring soon is small. A more effective
way to convey our situation would be to say:

THOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN THE NEXT IMPACT EVENT WILL HAPPEN, THERE
IS REASON TO FEAR THAT EVEN A RELATIVELY SMALL IMPACT--THE TYPE THAT
DO OCCUR MORE OFTEN--COULD BE DEVASTATING AT PRESENT BECAUSE THE
DAMAGE OF THE COLLISION WOULD BE SUPERIMPOSED ON THE STRESS WE AS A
SPECIES HAVE, OF LATE, PLACED ON THE ENVIRONMENT. IF WE WISH TO
ENSURE THAT WE ARE DOING ALL WE CAN TO AVOID A CIVILIZATION OR
SPECIES CRUSHING EVENT THEN WE NEED...

If more people who are perceived as authorities in this area of
research would adopt a rhetoric similar to above I think that the
'green slime' would begin to flow more easily to where it is urgently
needed.

The point to emphasize is that this is a one shot deal.  Potentially
it's one strike and we're out and we do not know if time is on our
side. What we do know is that unless we develop a viable defense
system for our biosphere we will get smacked and there is absolutely
no reason to suspect that such an eventuality is somehow safely
remote in time from our contemporary situation.

For some of my earlier verbiage see:
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/sdanger.html
and links from there.

Also, with Benny's permission, I've started an archive of Cambridge
Conference correspondence.

The menu is at: http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html

Heads up.  bobk
Bob Kobres

bkobres@uga.cc.uga.edu
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk
706-542-0583

=====================================
(2) SCANNING THE SKIES FOR METEOR STREAMS: TECHNIQUES & PROBLEMS

T. J. Jopek & C. Froeschle: A stream search among 502 TV meteor
orbits. An objective approach. ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1997,
Vol.320, No.2, pp.631-641

*) ADAM MICKIEWICZ UNIVERSITY OF POZNAN, OBSERWATORIUM ASTRON,
SLONECZNA 36, PL-60286 POZNAN, POLAND

In the first part of the paper a short review of the computer
meteor stream searching techniques is given. Different
fractions of the stream component obtained amongst radio,
photographic and TV data are partially due to the use of
different methods applied in the stream search. A new objective
approach is proposed in order to obtain the threshold value D-c
of the orbital similarity corresponding to the probability of
chance occurrence of the stream. The 502 Canadian TV data has
been used to test this approach. It appears, that the values of
D-c given by Southworth & Hawkins (1963), and Lindblad (1971b)
formulae are too high to warrant sufficient reliability of the
identified streams. Indeed using these formulae the result is
that the probability to obtain by chance at least one stream of
4-5 members goes from 21% to 68%. The effect of the three
different distance functions used to measure the orbital
similarity (Southworth & Hawkins (1963), Drummond (1979, 1981),
and Jopek 1993) has been investigated. For all functions taking
the same 95% reliability level, the number of streams detected
is considerably less than in the case of the traditional
approach (Jopek 1993a). However, results are different using
different distances. Finally, we give the list of the orbits of
eight streams identified at the reliability level W-M = 95%
using the Jopek distance.

====================
(3) BRITISH SCIENTISTS DEVELOP METEOR SCATTER PREDICTION MODEL

A. Akram*) & P. S. Cannon: A meteor scatter prediction model and its
application to adaptive beam steering. RADIO SCIENCE, 1997, Vol.32,
No.3, pp.1023-1035

*) DEF RES AGCY,TACT COMMUN,RADIO SCI & PROPAGAT GRP,MALVERN WR14
   3PS, WORCS, ENGLAND

A computer model to predict the underdense meteor arrival rate
over a forward meteor scatter communications link is presented.
The model incorporates important effects such as major shower
streams, a nonuniform radiant distribution, and antenna
polarization coupling. A particularly useful aspect of the
model is its capacity to predict the passage of sporadic and
shower hotspot regions across the sky and thereby provide
directional information to drive an adaptive beam steering
system. Directional data from a phased array reception system
in the United Kingdom has been used to determine the diurnal
arrival distribution of sporadic meteors. This diurnal
variation is broadly reproduced by the model and suggests that
just two daily changes in the direction of a high-gain beam
would offer considerable advantage over a fixed beam system.
This paper shows that further improvements in system
performance can be achieved with accurate predictions of the
time of appearance and location of shower streams. A
comparative study between monthly predictions and experimental
data from a high-latitude link in Greenland over a year shows
reasonable agreement but highlights the need for higher-
resolution radiant data.

========================
(4) HOW TO DETERMINE PERIODS OF METEOR STREAM ACTIVITY

J. Svoren*), L. Neslusan & V. Porubcan: Determination of the period
of activity of meteoroid streams. PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE, 1997,
Vol.45, No.5, pp.557-562

*) SLOVAK ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, INSTITUE OF ASTRONOMY, TATRANSKA LOMNIC
   05960, SLOVAKIA

A method for determination of the period of activity of
meteoroid streams from photographic orbits is presented and
discussed. It is also aimed at identifying stream members from
marginal regions of activity. The search utilizes the
Southworth-Hawkins D criterion. The primary separation of
meteoroid stream members is based on the cumulative
distribution of D. Variations of the orbital elements q, e,
omega and i with the solar longitude were derived from a set of
selected orbits and applied to a search for the stream members
from marginal regions of activity. Since the radiant is one of
the most reliable parameters derived from observation,
deviations of individual radiants from the stream radiant were
taken as an additional criterion for a final stream membership
classification. An application of the procedure to nine major
streams led in the case of four streams to a probable

assignment of meteors to the stream before or after the so far
known 'classical' period of activity: delta Aquarids (1),
Perseids (8), Leonids (3) and Geminids (1). The significant
number of Perseids found prior to July 23 (the onset of the
stream activity) and the relatively small dispersion of their
angular elements suggest that their assignment to the stream is
rather reliable.

========================
(5) OBSERVING METEORIC BOLIDES FROM THE GROUND AND FROM SPACE

Z. Ceplecha*), C. Jacobs & C. Zaffery: Correlation of ground- and
space-based bolides. ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES,
1997, Vol.822, pp.145-154

*) ACADEMY OF SCIENCE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC, ONDREJOV 25165, CZECH
   REPUBLIC

Data on large meteoroid impacts into the Earth's atmosphere are
available up to over ten meter sizes from global satellite
observations by optical sensors, while data from ground-based
photographic observations of meteoric fireballs (bolides) are
available only up to meter sizes. However, the ground-based
observations yield very precise data on the motion and ablation
of these bodies, as well as their light curves. The space-based
observations yield very precise light curves. Using data of the
brightest Prairie Network bolides, ablation coefficients are
determined for 48 bolides brighter than magnitude -10 and
compared to relative time changes of their brightness. This way
the known classification scheme for photographic bolides (based
mostly on observed ablation coefficient) is related to maximum
increase and decrease of their brightness. The same
classification scheme is applied to 16 light curves of somewhat
larger bodies observed globally by DOD satellites. Size range
of these bodies is found to be from 2 to 15 m with median value
of 3 to 4 m. Only separation of type I + II (38%) from type
IIIA + IIIB (62%) is possible. Increase of relative strength of
populations of cometary meteoroids (namely of the IIIB type)
observed for photographic meteors up to a size of 5 m continues
to larger sizes up to 15 m. Majority of meteoroids in the size
range from 2 to 15 m are cometary bodies with the weakest known
structure.

========================
(6) METEOROID ORBITS: IMPLICATIONS FOR NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SEARCH
    PROGRAMS

D. Steel: Meteoroid orbits: Implications for near-earth object search
programs. ANNALS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, 1997, Vol.822,
pp.31-51

SPACEGUARD AUSTRALIA PL, POB 3303, ADELAIDE, SA 5000, AUSTRALIA
dis@a011.aone.net.au

The available orbital database on macroscopic potential
impactors of our planet (asteroids and comets, collectively
near-Earth objects or NEOs) numbers less than one thousand,
whereas there have been some hundreds of thousands of orbits of
Earth-impacting meteoroids determined in various surveys,
mostly using meteor radars. If one assumes that NEOs have
orbital characteristics broadly similar to meteoroids, then the
orbits of the latter can give important indications concerning
the conduct of search programs designed to discover large NEOs
well ahead of any catastrophic impact, allowing ameliorative
action to be taken. For smaller NEOs that cannot be
telescopically detected until the day or so before impact, the
radiant distribution of observed meteors shows the regions of
the sky from which impactors are most likely to emanate. It is
shown that the vast majority of meteoroids striking the Earth
have geocentric (apparent) radiants within two near-ecliptic
regions a few tens of degrees wide and centered on longitudes
+/- 90 degrees from the apex of the Earth's way (the so-called
helion and anti-helion sources). These are bodies with low
inclinations, large eccentricities (e = 0.7 - 0.9) and quite
small semimajor axes (mostly a = 1.3 - 2.5 AU). After allowing
for the terrestrial motion about the Sun (conversion to the
true radiant), the longitudes are around +/- 120 degrees from
the apex. For a ground-based search on the nightside, the best
search region is that within similar to 20 degrees of the are
joining the geocentric and true radiants (longitudes 90 degrees
and 120 degrees). On the dayside, proximity to the solar
direction argues for a space-based surveillance program, if
small NEOs are to be found just prior to impact.

============================
(7) ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF METEOROIDS FROM SHORT PERIOD COMETS

G. Cremonese*) , M. Fulle, F. Marzari & V. Vanzani: Orbital evolution
of meteoroids from short period comets. ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS,
1997, Vol.324, No.2, pp.770-777

*) OSSERV ASTRON PADOVA,VIC OSSERVATORIO 5,I-35122 PADUA,ITALY

We perform an accurate modelling of orbital evolution of dust
grains taking into account both the ejection parameters derived
from the analysis of the dust tail of each considered parent
comet (Fulle 1989), and the integration of the Newton equations
in the context of a nine-body problem (Sun, seven major planets
and the dust particle) plus solar radiation and wind forces.
Among Short Period Comets (SPC) we have selected P/Schwassmann-
Wachmann 1 (P/SW1) and P/Griegg-Skjellerup (P/GS), which
represent two significantly different objects from a dynamical
point of view. Dust from P/SW1 is dominated by Jupiter
perturbations: after 2 10(4) years, about 7% of the grains are
ejected in hyperbolic orbits, 80% of the grains have the
perihelion out of 4 AU from the Sun, and only 1% of them
reaches the Sun distance of 1 AU, thus contributing to the
inner zodiacal cloud. Dust from P/GS is dominated by the P-R
drag, although large,grains, due to their longer collapse
lifetime, are sensitive to Jupiter perturbations. Therefore the
Tisserand criterion represents a useful tool both to estimate
the orbital evolution of,grains larger than 100 mu m (i.e. the
most likely canditates to replenish the zodiacal dust cloud,
Grun et al. 1985). and in distinguishing the parent sources of
meteoroids collected with near Earth space experiments able to
measure the impact velocity vectors. Jupiter perturbations
oppose to the P-R drag forces and reduce significantly the
contribution of SPC to the inner zodiacal dust: the simple sum
of the dust mass contribution from each SPC may be an
overestimate of their actual supply.

============================
(8) HOW AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS CAN ENHANCE OUR KNOWLEDGE OF METEORIC
    ACTIVITY AND CONTRIBUTE TO PLANETARY DEFENSE EFFORTS

S. Molau*) & R. Arlt: Meteor shower radiant positions and structures
as determined from single station video observations. PLANETARY AND
SPACE SCIENCE, 1997, Vol.45, No.7, p.857

*) DLR, INST OF PLANETARY EXPLORATION, RUDOWER CHAUSSEE 5, D-12489
BERLIN, GERMANY

Single station video observations of meteors can be used for
the precise determination of radiant positions of major and
minor meteor showers. Video systems combine large quantities of
recorded events with high accuracies, and are therefore applied
in the investigation of fine structures within the radiant. In
the past four years, amateurs from the Archenhold-Obervatory
Berlin have been operating the wide angle video system MO VLE.
The maxima of several major meteor showers could be recorded.
The video tapes were digitized and analysed on PCs. Using the
Radiant software developed within the International Meteor
Organization, the position was determined of the Quadrantid
(alpha = 229.4 degrees +/- 1.5 degrees, delta = + 49.7 degrees
+/- 1.5 degrees), Lyrid (alpha = 271.6 degrees +/- 1.5 degrees,
delta = + 32.9 degrees +/- 1 degrees), Perseid (alpha = 46.0
degrees +/- 2 degrees, delta = + 57.7 degrees +/- 2 degrees),
Orionid (alpha = 93.6 degrees + 1 degrees, delta = + 14.9
degrees +/- 1 degrees) and Leonid (alpha = 154.5 degrees +/- 2
degrees, delta = 21.4 degrees +/- 1 degrees) meteor shower
radiants and possible radiant fine structures searched for. The
obtained radiant positions are in good agreement with the
common values in the literature; no significant fine structures
could be found. From the video records of the 1995 alpha-
Monocerotid outburst, a radiant at alpha = 117 degrees +/- 3
degrees and delta = + 1 degrees +/- 2 degrees was derived,
which proves older results to be in error by several degrees.



CCCMENU CCC for 1998

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