PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 16 February 1999
------------------------------

(1) CCNet SURVEY UP-DATE
    Benny J Peiser

(2) COLLISION AT 30,000km/h
    BBC Online Network

(3) IN ANCIENT ICE AGES, CLUES TO CLIMATE
    The New York Times

(4) MONEY AWARDED FOR SPACE LASER TESTS
    MSNBC Online

(5) TRAVEL ASSISTANCE GRANTS FOR THE MINOR PLANET WORKSHOP 1999
    Richard A Kowalski <bitnik@bitnik.com>

(6) STEP ASIDE: IT'S THE NET GENERATION
    http://www.bookshop.co.uk/top/toppge.asp?ListKey=Tapscott&shop=1002

=================
(1) CCNet SURVEY UP-DATE

From Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>


I big thank you to the 241 subscribers who have completed and returned
the CCNet questionnaires. I hope to be able to report the full
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of the survey, subscribers will in future be able to choose (or opt-out
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CCNet-Letters (the discussion forum of the CCNet)
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---------------
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==================
(2) COLLISION AT 30,000km/h

From the BBC Online Network
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_279000/279839.stm

Monday, February 15, 1999

By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

Geologists prospecting for oil in the Barents Sea have stumbled across
the largest meteorite crater ever found in Europe. It is also one of
the largest in the world.

It was formed 150 million years ago when an asteroid, possibly 500m
across and travelling at 30,000 km/h, plunged into the sea off the
coast of Norway. 

It would have caused worldwide devastation resulting in global climate
change and the extinction of many species.

At the site of the impact there would have been a mushroom cloud of
superheated steam. Temperatures of over 10,000 degrees centigrade would
have melted many tonnes of rock. Gigantic tidal waves would then have
raced around the world from Canada to Russia.

After the initial fury, dust and other particles thrown into the
atmosphere would have created a cloud that blocked out the sunlight
starting a "nuclear winter".

Many species not wiped out by the initial impact would have died out
during the prolonged cold and lack of sunlight in this extended winter.

Accidental discovery

The discovery of the crater in the Barents Sea was accidental,
following a search for potential oil and gas reservoirs.

At first geologists thought it was an ordinary salt formation or a
submarine volcano. But Steinar Gudlauggson, from the Department of
Geology at the University of Oslo, had suspicions that it was an impact
crater.

Geologists looked at the data more closely and concluded that it could
be a parallel to the Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, the imprint left by
the meteorite which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Intense deformation

The proof came after the examination of rock samples drilled from close
to the crater. They studied 400,000 quartz grains and found they had
been deformed by an intense, sudden shock wave.

They also found traces of the rare element iridium which is far more
common in objects from space than on the Earth's surface.

One of the drilled rock cores, 121 m long, has been described as a
geological gem. It is one of the few cases where both the crater and
the dust and rock blasted out by the impact have been found and
collected. The crater rock and the debris on top therefore carry unique
information about the impact.

Although the Earth has suffered a steady bombardment from space over
geological time, only 160 impact craters have been identified. The
Mjoelnir crater is only the seventh marine meteor crater found.

Most craters on land have been eroded away. This makes a well-preserved
undersea crater particularly valuable to scientists.

Copyright 1999, BBC

=============================
(3) IN ANCIENT ICE AGES, CLUES TO CLIMATE

From The New York Times, February 16, 1999
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/021699sci-iceages.html


By WILLIAM K. STEVENS

More often than not over the last million years, the earth has been
locked in the deep cold of ice ages.

In the frigid depths of the most recent of these glaciations, which
lasted about 100,000 years and ended about 10,000 years ago, great
sheets of ice buried much of Europe and North America, including New
York, Chicago and everything to the north. In its expansion phase, the
ice sometimes advanced so fast that it bulldozed forests in its path.

Most experts believe the ice will come again, as surely as the earth
turns on its axis and revolves around the sun.

It will crush cities, freeze great stretches of northern lands and suck
up so much of the world's water that global sea levels will drop by
hundreds of feet. In some spots, the Northeast Coast will be as much as
100 miles east of where it is now, as it was during the last
glaciation.

People will survive just as they did then, but the warm, salubrious,
all-too-brief interval in which civilization flowered will be over.

The question is: When?

FULL STORY:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/021699sci-iceages.html

Copyright 1999, New York Yimes Newspapers Ltd.

============================
(4) MONEY AWARDED FOR SPACE LASER TESTS
                 
From MSNBC Online
http://www.msnbc.com/news/239947.asp#BODY

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 —  The Air Force and the Pentagon’s ballistic
missile defense shop on Tuesday announced that they were awarding the
first portion of a $3 billion contract to research whether space-based
lasers can shoot down long-range enemy missiles. (c) ABC

FULL STORY: http://www.msnbc.com/news/239947.asp#BODY

============================
(5) TRAVEL ASSISTANCE GRANTS FOR THE MINOR PLANET WORKSHOP 1999

From Richard A Kowalski <bitnik@bitnik.com>

The Organizing Committee of the Minor Planet Amateur-Professional
Workshop 1999 is pleased to announce the availability of Travel
Assistance Grants.  These grants are intended to aid those amateurs
from the U.S. or other countries who would not be able to attend the
workshop without some financial assistance.  The grants are not
expected to cover all of the awardees' travel costs.

To apply for a Travel Assistance Grant, e-mail a letter of application,
describing your current and/or planned involvement in minor planet 
research, and the abstract of a proposed contribution to the workshop,
to: Richard Kowalski <bitnik@bitnik.com>

The application should be received no later that March 10, 1999. The
awardees will be notified by the Organizing Committee by March 16,
1999, and grants will be disbursed at the workshop in Flagstaff.

The Organizing Committee wishes to thank the Planetary Society and its
executive director, Dr. Louis Friedman, for the generous donation that
has made these travel grants possible.

The Planetary Society's home page is http://www.planetary.org
The workshop's home page is http://www.bitnik.com/mp/mpapw99.html

Richard Kowalski - Chairman

==============
(6) STEP ASIDE: IT'S THE NET GENERATION
    http://www.bookshop.co.uk/top/toppge.asp?ListKey=Tapscott&shop=1002

There's a new generation that is going to change the world. The under
18s, who have grown up in a digital culture, are forming a new group in
society who work, play, learn, and interact in a completely new way.
Don Tapscott, chairman of the Alliance for Converging Technologies, is
an acknowledged expert on this subject and his new book, 'Growing Up
Digital', explores the current state and the future impact of the Net
Generation. This new culture is here to stay, and Tapscott's book
serves as an indispensable guide for parents and corporations alike.
http://www.bookshop.co.uk/top/toppge.asp?ListKey=Tapscott&shop=1002

----------------------------------------
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----------------------------------------
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*

CCNet LETTERS, 16 February 1999
-------------------------------

(1) MINOR BODIES, MAJOR PLANETS & THE PROBLEM OF CLASSIFICATION
    Richard A Kowalski <bitnik@bitnik.com>

(2) NEMESIS & IRISH INTERESTS?
    Bill Napier <wmn@star.arm.ac.uk>

(3) IMPACT HAZARD & SPACE COLONIZATION
    Michael Martin-Smith <martin@miff.demon.co.uk>

(4) THE CURSE: CHRONICLES OF CLIMATE & PEOPLES
    Ken Hsu <ken@erdw.ethz.ch>

==============
(1) MINOR BODIES, MAJOR PLANETS & THE PROBLEM OF CLASSIFICATION

From Richard A Kowalski <bitnik@bitnik.com>

Jens Kieffer-Olsen <dstdba@post4.tele.dk> wrote:

> Judging from the current debate I gather it's time to agree (to
> avoid real controversy ) that KBO's smaller than Pluto and yet to be
> discovered will not be counted as planets. At the same time I hope
> agreement can be reached to allow objects larger than Pluto the
> honour of becoming our solar system's 10th, 11th, etc. planets.
>

Benny,

I raised the very question that Jens asks here recently in some other
private communications with others.

Apparently, the IAU has decreed that a major planet can have a very low
size and mass with it's firm affirmation that Pluto is a major planet.
It apparently has thrown out the requirement that a major planet
occupies a discrete orbit. Since we now know of the other "Plutinos" at
the 2:3 resonance with Neptune, Pluto is to be a member of a "family".

In my opinion, it seems a "no-brainer" that as we continue to look for
KBOs, the bulk of which will be found below 22nd magnitude, that we will
find objects close to Pluto's size. Possibly some even larger.. Possibly
none will be found with anywhere near Pluto's size and mass.

I however, look forward to the 10th, 11th, 12th, etc. major planet
discovered!

--
Richard Kowalski
Quail Hollow Observatory         Minor Planet Mailing List
http://www.bitnik.com/QHO        http://www.bitnik.com/mp
761 Zephyrhills

"One thing I learned at home, on those nights at home, I learned how to
use a telescope and how to find objects in the sky. You don't do that
by going to a bar and drinking beer"

Clyde Tombaugh - Discoverer of Pluto

=========================
(2) NEMESIS & IRISH INTERESTS?

From Bill Napier <wmn@star.arm.ac.uk>

Dear Benny,

Sir Arthur's HAMMER OF GOD, which went "unreferenced" by Spielberg,
doesn't seem to be having much luck. I learned today that a major
bookseller here has it filed in their religious section! (NEMESIS
appears under "Irish Interest".)

Best regards

Bill Napier
=======================
(3) IMPACT HAZARD & SPACE COLONIZATION

From Michael Martin-Smith <martin@miff.demon.co.uk>

Dear Benny,

Jens Kieffer-Olsen wrote: "For Spaceguard purposes the discovery of
planet-sized bodies in rogue orbits would be bad news, since the
Armageddon scenario of an object the size of Texas hitting Earth would
all of a sudden be science fiction no more. One thousand years of
preparation might not be enough to avert a direct doomsday hit."

In this case there is one possible answer - to use the intervening
centuries - if we are allowed as much - to build a "Diaspora" of human
civilizations beyond the Earth, using the Moon, Mars, its moons, and
nearby asteroids and comets as seeds for an O'Neill type space
colonization programme, which would, in due time, migrate to the nearer
stars. Talk of the expense of space development would surely become
irrelevant, if faced with an alternative of certain extinction on
Earth. Judaism provides an early example that dispersal combined with
a sense of destiny can survive anything - even deliberate genocide.

Since we truly do not know if and when such a potential impactor might
be found - chaotic rogue orbits, by definition, being hard to predict-
and since building a mature self sufficient extraterrestrial
civilization will be no easy or quick matter, the sooner we start, the
better - there is much to be done!

The idea that Humanity, as the bearer of Mind, is a species chosen by 
Evolution or Providence to fulfil an Evolutionary Cosmic Destiny is
thus an ideology whose widespread adoption is a matter of survival
itself. It does not matter if it is "scientifically" respectable - what
matters is that we must make it true. Destiny is no longer something to
be read in the stars - it must, rather, be built there!

Yours sincerely,
Dr Michael Martin-Smith, President, Space Age Asscoiates
http://www.astronist.demon.co.uk/index.html

=====================
(4) THE CURSE: CHRONICLES OF CLIMATE & PEOPLES

From Ken Hsu <ken@erdw.ethz.ch>

Dear Benny

Re: NATURE'S ROLE IN THE RISE AND FALL OF HUMANITY
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/paleoclimate990127.html

I have been writing a book since 1994, entitled: The Curse: Chronicles
of Climate and Peoples. I am submitting the manuscript to Orell Füssli
in two installments,Spring and Autumn of 1999. The book will be out, in
German first, to be presented at the Frankfort Book Exhibit of year
2000. There are four little ice ages of about 1200-year periodicity
during the last 5000 years. Interested person could contact me for
details.

Ken Hsu.

-----------------
CCNet-LETTERS is the open discussion forum of the Cambridge-Conference
Network. Contributions to the on-going debate about near-Earth objects,
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CCCMENU CCC for 1999

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