PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 28/2002 - 22 February 2002
--------------------------------


"Malheureusement, déplore François Colas, aucun programme de
détection n'est installé dans l'hémisphère sud et ne scrute le ciel
austral. Nous voudrions qu'un télescope européen d'un mètre de diamètre le
fasse. Cela coûterait moins de 500 000 euros par an, ce qui n'est pas cher
pour sauver le monde..."
--Le Monde, 21 February 2002


"At the same time as dealing with cosmic hazards, catastrophic mass
extinctions and historical impacts, CCNet also accentuates the
progress of technological advancement which has significantly boosted
the chances for better search programmes and planetary defence systems. By
balancing the growing awareness of Earth's catastrophic history with the
prospect of future disaster prevention, CCNet is steering clear from
doom-mongering and cultural pessimism."
--Benny J. Peiser, "Communicating Heaven and Hell"


(1) FRENCH ASTRONOMERS CALL FOR EUROPEAN NEO TELESCOPE "POUR SAUVER LE
MONDE"
    Le Monde, 21 February 2002

(2) SCIENTISTS SIMULATE COMET STRIKES
    Orlando Sentinel, 17 February 2002

(3) MONSTER ERUPTION FROM THE SUN
    Paal Brekke <pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov>

(4) CRATER CORE HOLDS DINOSAUR DEMISE DETAILS
    United Press International, 21 February 2002

(5) (VERY SLOW) COLLISION MAY HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD
    ABC News

(6) COMMUNICATING HEAVEN AND HELL: HANDLING THE IMPACT HAZARD ON THE NET
    Benny J Peiser, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

(7) COMET IKEYA-ZHANG
    Mark Kidger <mrk@ll.iac.es>

(8) AND FINALLY: LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE AND MALARIA BROKEN
    AFRICA'S MALARIA RESURGENCE ISN'T DOWN TO GLOABL WARMING
    Nature Science Update, 21 February 2002


==================
(1) FRENCH ASTRONOMERS CALL FOR EUROPEAN NEO TELESCOPE "POUR SAUVER LE
MONDE"

>From Le Monde, 21 February 2002
http://www.lemonde.fr/article/0,5987,3244--263684-,00.html

Les astres du système solaire sont criblés de cicatrices dues aux astéroïdes

La terre est une prestidigitatrice. Elle a quasiment réussi à faire
disparaître de sa surface toutes les traces des bombardements spatiaux dont
elle a été victime depuis sa formation, il y a un peu plus de 4,5 milliards
d'années. Moins de 200 cratères d'impact sont ainsi répertoriés sur notre
planète. Encore a-t-il fallu, afin d'établir cette courte liste, que les
géologues fassent preuve de beaucoup de perspicacité et reçoivent l'aide de
la photographie aérienne ou des satellites d'observation de la Terre.     
 
Contrairement à la Lune, dont la surface est comme criblée de cicatrices de
variole, notre globe garde peu de marques des collisions qu'il a pourtant
subies en plus grand nombre, étant donné sa taille plus importante.

L'étude des cratères peut livrer de nombreuses informations sur les astres
qui les portent. Notamment dans le cas de Mars. Alors que les cratères
visibles sur la Lune présentent des bords francs, ceux de la planète rouge,
photographiée quotidiennement par la sonde américaine Mars Global Surveyor
(MGS), sont entourés d'un anneau d'éjecta - les matières éjectées vers
l'extérieur lors de l'impact - en forme de pétales de rose. "En fait, assure
François Colas, astronome au CNRS et spécialiste des astéroïdes et comètes
qu'il suit au télescope du pic du Midi, il ne faut pas chercher plus loin la
preuve de la présence d'eau sur Mars. Celle-ci se trouvait dans le sous-sol
sous forme d'eau liquide ou plus probablement de glace qui a fondu en raison
de la chaleur dégagée par l'impact." La suite se devine : arrivant comme un
pavé lancé dans une mare de boue, l'astéroïde a éclaboussé les terrains
entourant le cratère qu'il créait.

CATASTROPHE PLANETAIRE

Grâce aux sondes spatiales, les astronomes ont pu vérifier que chaque
planète ou satellite un tant soit peu important a été, est, ou sera bombardé
par les bolides (astéroïdes ou comètes) qui traversent le système solaire.
Les astéroïdes ne s'épargnent pas entre eux. Grâce aux images prises par la
sonde NEAR en 2000 et 2001, les astronomes ont ainsi pu déterminer qu'Eros
(33 km de long sur 15 de large) devait sa forme de banane à une collision.
"On pensait jusqu'alors qu'un impact sur un corps de cette taille devait le
pulvériser, explique François Colas. Mais Eros, qui devrait ressembler à un
ballon de rugby, est parcouru de failles qui ont amorti le choc."

A l'heure actuelle, environ 100 000 astéroïdes ont été identifiés. La
plupart gravitent entre Mars et Jupiter dans une ceinture de cailloux
volants. Ces cousins directs des planétésimaux, qui, peu après la naissance
du Soleil, se sont agrégés pour donner les planètes telluriques, n'ont pu en
faire autant et demeurent les vestiges des origines du système solaire. La
majorité voyagent sur des orbites stables mais il arrive que des
perturbations gravitationnelles en éjectent quelques-uns. Lorsque ces
astéroïdes expulsés se dirigent vers l'intérieur du système solaire, une loi
curieuse veut que leur orbite saute d'une planète vers l'autre. Ils sont
ainsi tour à tour Mars-croiseurs, géocroiseurs, Vénus-croiseurs et finissent
généralement leur course dans la fournaise de notre étoile. Qu'on les nomme
géocroiseurs ne signifie pas qu'ils vont forcément venir percuter la Terre
mais simplement qu'ils ont une chance de croiser sa trajectoire.

Les astronomes estiment qu'existent environ 2 000 géocroiseurs d'un
kilomètre de diamètre ou plus. S'ils entraient en collision avec la Terre,
il en résulterait une catastrophe planétaire. La probabilité est infime mais
non nulle.

Depuis une dizaine d'années, plusieurs programmes de détection de ces corps,
minuscules à l'échelle du système solaire, scrutent en permanence le ciel et
ont permis la découverte d'environ la moitié de ces bolides potentiellement
dangereux. Cela permet d'en définir la trajectoire et de calculer les
risques d'écrasement sur la Terre dans les décennies ou les siècles à venir.
Le plus important programme, l'américain Linear (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid
Research), a reconverti en observatoires automatisés deux télescopes
utilisés par l'armée américaine pour la détection des satellites militaires
soviétiques...

"Malheureusement, déplore François Colas, aucun programme de détection n'est
installé dans l'hémisphère sud et ne scrute le ciel austral. Nous voudrions
qu'un télescope européen d'un mètre de diamètre le fasse. Cela coûterait
moins de 500 000 euros par an, ce qui n'est pas cher pour sauver le monde...
Le rapport entre l'investissement pour avoir un tableau complet des
géocroiseurs et le coût des dégâts en cas de collision est imbattable. Ces
observations nous aideraient à mieux connaître les astéroïdes, à comprendre
comment fonctionnent les rebonds qu'ils effectuent de planète en planète et
à affiner notre compréhension de la formation des planètes."

Pierre Barthélémy

Copyright 2002, Le Monde

============
(2) SCIENTISTS SIMULATE COMET STRIKES: FINDINGS MIGHT SHED LIGHT ON ORIGINS
OF EARLY EARTH LIFE

>From Orlando Sentinel, 17 February 2002
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/

By Andrea Widener, Knight Ridder Newspapers

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The large bullet rips down the gun's long barrel at
the mind-bending speed of 4,500 miles per hour.

In fractions of a second, it strikes its target with a dull thump.

With this target, a shiny silver capsule filled with a teardrop of water,
scientists are simulating the scorching impact of a comet striking the
Earth.

These intense temperatures and pressures, while lacking the violence of real
comet strikes, are giving scientists insights far beyond what has been
available up to now.

Experiments by Jennifer Blank at Lawrence Livermore in Livermore, Calif.,
and a small group of others are shedding light on one of science's most
fundamental questions: How did life begin?

The implications of comets contributing the elements of life on Earth would
have great meaning for those searching for life on other planets, as well.

"It is so interdisciplinary, physics with organic chemistry with planetary
science all under the umbrella of exploring life's origins," explained
Blank. The building blocks of life, the essential molecules that form the
basis of everything from bacteria to brain surgeons, are either local
creations or imports from meteors or comets.

In the 1950s, two University of Chicago scientists did several experiments
suggesting these fundamentals were formed when lightning spurred chemical
reactions in the Earth's warm, chemically rich early atmosphere. The result
of this process was aptly called the primordial soup.

It turns out the process might not be quite that simple.

In the half century since that groundbreaking experiment, geologists have
disputed whether the Earth's atmosphere was either as warm or as chemically
rich as researchers originally believed. It might not have been able to
create the cell essentials, like sugars and amino acids.

So some far-out thinkers have turned to the stars.

Researchers already knew these particles were found in outer space and would
have hitched a ride on the comets that, in the more volatile early days,
regularly smashed into the Earth. But most scientists assumed that life's
somewhat-fragile essentials wouldn't survive the crash landing -- and the
2,000-degree temperatures such landings created.

That is, until Blank's big-gun experiments proved otherwise.

It turns out researchers ignored two vital elements -- pressure and time.

While high temperatures would tend to burn things up, immense pressures
would tend to hold them together. And while seconds-long hot stretches might
burn some molecules up, many can survive a short-term scorching fairly
unscathed.

Copyright (c) 2002, Sentinel Communications Co

===========
(3) MONSTER ERUPTION FROM THE SUN

>From Paal Brekke <pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov>

SOHO observed a huge eruptive prominence arching out from the Sun on Feb.
18, 2001. Part of the prominence can bee seen streching out from the Sun's
south polar region.

http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/pickoftheweek/

NOTE: THIS ERUPTION WAS NOT HEADED TOWARDS THE EARTH!

Regards

Paal

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
Paal Brekke,
SOHO Deputy Project Scientist  (European Space Agency - ESA)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,      Email: pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov
Mail Code 682.3, Bld. 26,  Room 001,   Tel.:  1-301-286-6983 /301 996 9028
(cell)
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA.        Fax:   1-301-286-0264
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
SOHO WEB: http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-

============
(4) CRATER CORE HOLDS DINOSAUR DEMISE DETAILS

>From United Press International, 21 February 2002

MERIDA, Mexico, Feb 21, 2002 (United Press International via COMTEX) --
Scientists hope rock samples collected from a mile-long core into an ancient
impact crater will unlock secrets of how the crash triggered a sudden
climatic change that led to the demise of the dinosaurs, and ultimately, to
the rise of mammals and the human species.

Drilling into the Chicxulub impact crater on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is
expected to wrap up this week, with preliminary analysis on the excavated
samples to begin at the lead institution, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma
de Mexico.

The goal of the $1.5-million International Continental Drilling Program is
twofold: to identify what type of celestial body crashed into Earth 65
million years ago; and detail the sequence of events that altered the
planet's ecology and environment, killing 75 percent of Earth's plant and
animal species in the process.

"The hypothesis that a meteorite impact caused the demise of the dinosaurs
and consequently perhaps paved the way for mammalian evolution has been one
of the most important recent and important findings in Earth sciences," said
University of Arizona-Tuscon geosciences professor Joaquin Ruiz.

Earth's environment has been profoundly affected several times in its
history by asteroid, comet or meteorite impacts, said Harvard University's
Stein Jacobsen, who was on a team 10 years ago that studied Chicxulub crater
rock samples and confirmed the then-controversial impact theory.

It will be interesting to be able to distinguish whether the impact was
caused by a comet, for which there currently are no direct samples, or an
asteroid, Jacobsen said from Cambridge, Mass. It would be very rare to find
particles from the actual impactor, which likely was vaporized in the crash.
Rather, scientists will be able to study secondary evidence, such as how the
underlying rock was affected by the impact structurally and chemically.

To reach the crater floor, drilling teams first had to bore through almost a
half-mile of sedimentary rocks that settled on top of the crater after the
impact. This month, scientists got their first look at the impact breccias,
impact melt layer and the fractured rock beneath the basin. By this weekend,
drilling through several hundred feet of underlying continental crust
bedrock is expected to be finished, successfully completing the first effort
to obtain a continuous core of rock from the famed crater.

The rock samples hold the untold details of Earth's rapid climatic and
environmental changes, said project co-investigator David Kring, a
University of Arizona planetary scientist.

For example, most of the rocks struck by the asteroid or comet contained
mainly anhydrite, a calcium sulphate mineral, which, when vaporized produces
sulfur-oxide gases that can affect Earth's climate. When these gases reached
the atmosphere by the force of the impact, the gases formed aerosols that
cooled the planet's surface and then returned to the ground as acid rain.

"The impact had a tremendous effect," said Kring. "There were wildfires,
dust, soot, toxic chemicals, temperature changes, acid rain and greenhouse
warming. The magnitude of what happened depends on the type of rocks that
were hit."

"We want to figure out the sequence of events that caused all these species
to die," he said.

Impact cratering is the dominant geologic process in the solar system,
affecting all the terrestrial planetary surfaces, including Mercury, the
moon and Mars.

Earth's craters are mostly hidden by other geologic processes, such as the
formation and motion of the continental plates, the creation of mountains,
erosion and volcanism. The Chicxulub crater, which was found during oil
exploration, is the most famous of about 160 known impact sites on Earth.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

===========
(5) (VERY SLOW) COLLISION MAY HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD

Tibet Cooled The World
http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/s485706.htm

Tibet is a spiritual place. It sits on the roof of the world - the 5 km high
Tibetan plateau. Some researchers now believe that this plateau cooled the
whole planet, and maybe helped the evolution of the human brain.

Now the climate of the world has been fairly predictable over most of the
last few hundred million years. Until recently, it was warm and wet, like
the tropics. Back then, the level of carbon dioxide was twice the level that
it is today. The dinosaurs, who lived from 200 million to 65 million years
ago, enjoyed a temperature about 8-11Co warmer, and swam in seas about half
a metre higher than we do today.

But all this changed 50 million years ago when India collided with Asia at
the frightening speed of 20 centimetres per year (roughly 4 times faster
than your fingernails grow). As a result of this slow but gigantic
collision, the Himalayas and Tibet relentlessly and gradually rose above
sea-level as India ploughed northwards another 2,000 km. India slowed its
northward speed to a more sedate 5 cm per year.

During this enormous collision, the Antarctic began to ice up and the world
cooled down. The world's temperature kept on dropping. About 2-3 million
years ago, our human brain began to double in size from 600 ml to about
1,200  ml.

It could be just a coincidence, but Big Brains do need a lot of cooling.
After all, we humans really need our big brains. We can't see very clearly,
we can't run very fast, our skin won't even stand up to a rose bush and our
nails are pathetic as claws. Compared to the other animals on the planet,
our big brain is our only worthwhile asset. But while our brain weighs only
2% of our body weight, it takes 20% of our blood supply, and so 20% of our
waste heat gets dumped from our head.

Now a new theory claims that the Tibetan Plateau is responsible for cooling
the world by taking carbon dioxide out of the air. The Tibetan Plateau is a
huge area, roughly half the size of Australia, and mostly higher than 5 km
above sea level. Clouds run into this plateau, and dump their water as rain.
In fact, the Tibetan plateau causes the annual Asian monsoons. As a result,
eight huge rivers, which include the Ganges, Mekong, Indus and the Yangtze,
drain from the Tibetan Plateau and its approaches. These rivers drain a
total area of less than 5% of
our Earth's land area, but they dump 25% of the minerals that reach the
ocean.

The very heavy rains combined with enormously steep slopes cause huge
erosion. The carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the rain drops forms a weak
acid - carbonic acid. This carbonic acid combines with granite and limestone
which come from the massive erosion. The combination of carbon dioxide and
granite/limestone makes minerals which wash downhill towards the ocean.
These minerals are very rich in carbon. So Tibet takes carbon dioxide out of
the atmosphere, and shoves it not into trees, but into minerals.

So, according to this theory, the Tibetan plateau is really a huge pump that
takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and deposits it on the ocean
floor where it stays locked away for millions of year.

The Tibet theory was created by oceanographer Maureen Raymo from MIT and her
colleague Bill Ruddiman, a paleoclimatologist of the University of Virginia.
They claim that chemical reactions caused by the Tibetan plateau have
removed so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, that the temperature has
dropped - not the Greenhouse Effect but the Tibetan Ice Block Effect.

Now the theory is in its early days, and it's not rock solid, but we do know
that after about 50 million years of a steady downward drop in both
temperature and carbon dioxide levels, the Earth's climate seems to have
stabilised into an oscillating series of Ice Ages and non-Ice Ages. And at
the end of that drop, our brains began to evolve larger. So maybe Tibet not
only chilled out the world, it also gave us swollen heads.

© Karl S. Kruszelnicki Pty Ltd 2002.

==============
(6) COMMUNICATING HEAVEN AND HELL: HANDLING THE IMPACT HAZARD ON THE NET

Presenting CCNet at the "COMMUNICATING ASTRONOMY" CONFERENCE
http://www.iac.es/proyect/commast/

Benny J Peiser, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

In 1997, CCNet was set up as a scholarly e-mail network in order to
disseminate and discuss pertinent issues related to NEO research and the
hazards to civilisation due to asteroids and comets. Since then, the
Cambridge-Conference Network has grown into one of the most lively and
stimulating electronic science and astronomy networks. With its 1200
subscribers from around the world, CCNet has become one of the principal
outlets for accurate information, critical analysis and thought-provoking
debates on all matters concerning NEOs, natural disasters and efforts to
prevent future impact calamities. At the same time as dealing with cosmic
hazards, catastrophic mass extinctions and historical impacts, CCNet also
accentuates the progress of technological advancement which has
significantly boosted the chances for better search programmes and planetary
defence systems. By balancing the growing awareness of Earth's catastrophic
history with the prospect of future disaster prevention, CCNet is steering
clear from doom-mongering and cultural pessimism.

============================
* LETTERS TO THE MODERATOR *
============================

(7) COMET IKEYA-ZHANG

>From Mark Kidger <mrk@ll.iac.es>

Dear Benny:

As you point out, there is considerable interest in Comet C/2002 C1
(Ikeya-Zhang) which could potentially turn out to be the first confirmed
return of a comet with a period superior to 155 years (the current record
holder is Comet Herschel-Rigollet, last seen in 1939). Nakano has
suggested that it may be identical to C/1532 R1.

Although C/1532 R1 was observed from September 2nd to December 30th its
orbit is rather uncertain. The orbit used in the IAU/CBAT/MPC "Catalogue of
Cometary Orbits" is that of Olbers, calculated in 1787. This orbit is
compared below to that of Comet Ikeya-Zhang.

C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) C/1532 R1
T 2002 Mar. 18.9388 1532 Oct. 18.832
q 0.507200 0.51922
z +0.017337
w 34.5777 24.53
W 93.4156 93.81
e 0.991207 1.0
i 28.1110 32.59

As we can see, the similarity is quite impressive. Brian Marsden estimates
an orbital period of 400-500 years for Ikeya-Zhang based on an arc of 11
days, which would be consistent with a previous apparition in 1532.

The orbit of C/1532 R1 however is not completely determined, despite the
long visibility of the comet and a 1785 solution by Mchaine gave a rather
different solution, with an inclination of 42 degrees, and an Ascending Node
of 126 degrees, very much less similar to the orbit of Ikeya-Zhang.

C/1532 R1 was evidently an exceptional object. David Hughes's 1987 catalogue
of cometary absolute magnitudes from 568 - 1978 assigns it an absolute
magnitude of +1.8, one of just 12 comets that has an absolute magnitude of
+2 or brighter, putting it into the "giant comet" class, almost 100 times
intrinsically brighter than the average long-period comet. Current light
curve fits to C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) suggest an absolute magnitude from
+6.5-7.5, average, or slightly fainter than average. This is an evident
inconsistency. While the date culled from pre-telescopic light curves is
very uncertain, 5 magnitudes is a big difference.

As second point to watch for is the light curve of Ikeya-Zhang. Jonathan
Shanklin suggests in his note that this comet is brightening very fast (15
log r). This is a very fast brightening rate consistent with a gassy comet -
gassy objects rarely brighten very rapidly close in to the Sun.

If we take the archetypal active evolved object, 1P/Halley, the brightening
rate at r < 1.7AU was found by Daniel Fischer to be 9.1 log r. C/1995 O1
(Hale-Bopp), also an active multiple-return object, brightened at 7.5 log r
for most of its inbound passage.

Comets are full of surprises. C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR) did reach the upper bound
of predictions (a little below magnitude 2), but took an unusual route to
get there! It may be too early to call Ikeya-Zhang yet.

Readers who are interested in following the comet's light curve from day to
day can try these two sites:

Seichii Yoshida's Japanese data:
http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/2002C1/2002C1.html

My own light curve from mainly Spanish data:
http://www.iac.es/galeria/mrk/Light_2002c1.g

Mark Kidger

============
(8) AND FINALLY: LINK BETWEEN CLIMATE AND MALARIA BROKEN
    AFRICA'S MALARIA RESURGENCE ISN'T DOWN TO GLOABL WARMING

>From Nature Science Update, 21 February 2002
http://www.nature.com/nsu/020218/020218-12.html

JOHN WHITFIELD

Climate change cannot explain the growth of malaria in the highlands of East
Africa, say researchers. Drawing simplistic links between global warming and
local disease patterns could lead to mistaken policy decisions, they warn.

Drug resistance, or the failure of the health-care system to keep pace with
population growth, are more likely culprits for malaria's rise, say Simon
Hay, of the University of Oxford, and his colleagues. These should be the
focus of public-health efforts, they urge. Malaria kills between one million
and two million Africans each year.

Through records and computer simulation, Hay's team reconstructed the
climate of four regions in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi between 1911
and 1995.

Malaria cases in these regions have increased sharply in the past two
decades, in some areas more than fivefold. The pattern is similar across
tropical Africa. Hay's team chose upland areas because they are most
sensitive to climate change.

But the reconstruction revealed no significant trends in temperature,
rainfall or the number of months when conditions were suitable for malaria
transmission - the disease thrives in warm, wet weather. "The climate hasn't
changed, therefore it can't be responsible for changes in malaria," says
Hay.

There's been an unseemly rush to link climate to disease, agrees Paul
Reiter, an expert in insect-borne diseases at the Harvard School of Public
Health. "The most important factors are always going to be economics,
politics and lifestyle," he says.

Hay and Reiter add that even in temperate regions, global warming is
unlikely to increase the threat of malaria. The disease was present in
Europe and North America until the second half of the twentieth century,
until factors such as wetland draining, insecticide and improved public
hygiene eliminated it, they point out.

Blowing hot and cold

"There's been some terrible bandwagon-jumping and misdirection of resources
that could be spent learning how to control mosquito-borne disease," says
Reiter. "We urgently need to cool down the rhetoric and start to look
objectively at what the factors behind their recent resurgence are."

But this study does not prove that there's no link between climate change
and the growth of malaria in these regions, says Jonathan Patz, who studies
climate's relationship with health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Some regions of East Africa do show warming trends, he says. That the team
considered climate over a much longer period than they analysed disease
could have confused their analysis, he believes.

"I think there's a mismatch between the results and the strong conclusions
of this paper," says Patz. He feels it's still not clear whether climate
change has influenced disease.

What's needed, he says, are studies that consider climate, disease
statistics and social factors simultaneously. These may help to predict the
effect on malaria if climate in upland East Africa does change.
 
References
Hay, S. I. et al. Climate change and the resurgence of malaria in the East
African Highlands. Nature, 415, 905 - 909, (2002).
 
© Nature News Service / Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2002
 
MODERATOR'S NOTE: ... told you so: GLOBAL WARMING, LITTLE ICE AGE & THE
MALARIA SCARE, CCNet 27 January 2000
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/cc012700.html

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without prior permission of the copyright holders. The fully indexed archive
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the articles
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*

COMMUNICATING ASTRONOMY: AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
http://www.iac.es/proyect/commast/

Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos
La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
25 February - 1 March, 2002

Organized by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC)
Contact email: commast@ll.iac.es
 
RATIONALE

Astronomical publishing is now in a state of flux for two main reasons: 1)
rapid technological change in editorial and production systems, and 2)
intense commercial drives to increase productivity from the international
conglomerates that now own the majority of publishing houses.

The new technology offers astronomers a wide range of possible
presentational formats. Cost-cutting exercises, however, have resulted in
traditional in-house editing being cut back, the onus of quality of
presentation now being laid more on the shoulders of authors of research
papers and editors of conference proceedings.

Areas in need of clarification are the moves by the big international
journals towards more unified house styles, particularly in such matters as
bibliographical referencing and the accessing of information from large
on-line databases. The nature and scope of peer review will be critically
assessed, as will the arguments for and against the establishment of
free-access electronic international journals.

The challenge of accurate popularization of science and the problems of
``dumbing down'' will be discussed in the contexts of popular books and
magazines, newspapers, and TV/radio documentaries and news reports.

This meeting will look at how scientific results published in astronomical
research journals are modified as they percolate through the various genres
dedicated to teaching, popularization and news reporting. The differing
editorial criteria for each genre will be examined by recognized experts,
and ways in which scientists, popular writers and journalists can work
together for the good of the dissemination of science will be discussed in
depth  Some of the best authorities in all fields of astronomy publishing
and broadcasting (researchers, journal editors, book publishers, authors,
science journalists, TV and radio producers, etc.) will exchange views and
explain the techniques and skills they employ to communicate astronomy.

PROGRAMME OF TALKS AND SOCIAL EVENTS

Sunday, 24 February
19:00
Welcoming cocktail & inauguration of the art exhibition Cosmic Perspectives

Monday, 25 February
Professional journals and circulars
8:00(8:45
Registration

8:45(8:55
Welcome by IAC Director
Francisco Sánchez
8:55(9:00
Announcements

9:00(9:45
Information obtainable from bibliometric studies
Helmut Abt
9:45(10:15
Scientific productivity of large telescopes
C. R. Benn
10:15(10:30
Counting publications in astronomy
L. J. Corral
10:30(10:45
Bibliometry or bibliometrics: a librarian's viewpoint
Monique Gómez
10:45(11:00
Peer reviewing
Helmut Abt
11:00(11:30
COFFEE BREAK

11:30(12:00
The peer review process in modern astronomical professional publishing
John E. Beckman
12:00(12:30
Possible threats from rapid publication
Derek McNally
12:30(13:00
The IAU Working Group on Publishing
Michelle C. Storey
13:00(15:00
LUNCH

15:00(15:30
The Astrophysics Data System: discovery tool and literature archive
Guenther Eichhorn
15:30(16:00
Editing Astronomy and Astrophysics
Peter Schneider
16:00(16:30
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
TBA
16:30(17:00
COFFEE BREAK

17:00(17:30
Pluses and minuses of electronic publishing
Gerry Gilmore
17:30(18:00
PASA: an electronic astronomy journal
Michelle C. Storey
18:00(18:15
The Information Circular of Commission 26 of the IAU
Josefina F. Ling

Tuesday, 26 February
Conference proceedings and academic book publishing

9:00(9:30
Editing conference proceedings
Terry Mahoney
9:30(9:45
Genre conventions in astrophysics poster presentations
Anna Fagan
9:45(10:00
Web-based submission of conference proceedings papers
Johan H. Knapen
10:00(10:30
>From final draft to publication: what do astronomers need to know?
J. J. Blom
10:30(11:00
Building and maintaining book series for a learned society publisher
Tom Spicer
11:00(11:30
Astronomy textbooks
Jay M. Pasachoff
11:30(11:45
Astronomy in the Spanish pre-university educational system: the particular
case of the Canary Islands
Cristina Silvia Hansen Ruiz
13:30
BUS LEAVES FOR EL PORTILLO

14:30
LUNCH AT RESTAURANT EL PORTILLO

16:00
VISIT TO TEIDE OBSERVATORY

Wednesday, 27 February
Professional journals and circulars (continued)

9:00(9:30
Communicating Heaven and Hell: handling the impact hazard on the Net
Benny Peiser

Conference proceedings and academic book publishing (continued)

9:30(10:00
Editing the Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Paul Murdin
10:00(10:30
Dictionaries: what the art of the lexicographer can do for astronomy
Terry Mahoney

Educating for astronomy

10:30(11:00
The creation of distance-learning material
Barrie Jones
11:00(11:30
COFFEE BREAK

11:30(11:45
The Contribution of students to astronomical research
Miquel Serra-Ricart
11:45(12:15
Internet astronomy: a new form of education
J. E. F. Baruch
12:15(12:45
Teaching astronomy in the modern classroom
Margarita Metaxa
12:45(14:45
LUNCH

Popular astronomy

14:45(15:15
The human factor
Heather Couper
15:15(15:45
Outreach from research centres: a luxury or a necessity?
Luis Antonio Martínez Sáez
15:45(16:15
Eavesdropping on the Universe
J. E. F. Baruch
16:15(16:30
Communicating astronomy from the observatory: the ING experience
Javier Méndez
16:30(17:00
COFFEE BREAK

17:00(17:30
Developing and implementing a strategic communications plan
Chales Blue
17:30(17:45
Developing the Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG): using a heritage site to
inspire interest in modern astronomy
Robert Massey
17:45-18:00
The IAC and its observatories: a natural platform for outreach
Begoña López Betancor
19:00
Video conference to celebrate 45 years of Sky at Night
Sir Patrick Moore, Pieter Morpurgo and Ian Russell

Thursday, 28 February
Popular astronomy (continued)

9:00(9:30
Bridging the gaps
Richard Tresch Fienberg
9:30(9:45
Which science concepts appear in popular science magazines? How do they
interrelate? A particular case: stars
Jesús Pérez Ceballos
9:45(10:15
Communicating astronomy through the Internet
Mark Kidger
10:15(10:30
The Web: a new frontier in scientific outreach
Angel Gómez Roldán
10:30(10:45
Amusing astronomy
Ignacio García de la Rosa
10:45(11:00
Astronomy in a science museum
Erik Stengler
11:00(11:30
COFFEE BREAK

11:30(12:00
Hands-on experiments on the planets: a tour of some museum experiments
Museum staff
12:00(12:30
Outreach and the professional astronomer: a survey of attitudes
Luis Díaz vilela
12:30(12:45
Amateur astronomy in Europe
Anastasia Pappa
12:45(15:00
LUNCH

15:00(15:30
Science or nonsense? The role of TV graphics
Nigel Henbest
15:30(16:00
The making of SPACE
Richard Burke-Ward
16:00(16:30
Writing for TV
Hugh Mason
16:30(17:00
COFFEE BREAK

17:00(17:30
Time for Space: five minutes a week for astronomy
Inés Rodríguez Hidalgo
17:30(17:45
Achieving mind control¾how SF writers use astronomy
Sheila Crosby
20:30
CONFERENCE DINNER AT TABERNA "LOS MOSQUETEROS"

Friday, 1 March
Campaigning astronomy

9:00(9:30
Communicating lost libraries
R. Elizabeth Griffin
9:30(10:00
Radio pollution¾the unseen threat to astronomy
Ian Morison
10:00(10:30
Fighting light pollution in the Canaries: a success story
Javier Díaz Castro


Astronomy and the news media

10:30(10:45
An observatory's links with the media
Ian Morison
10:45(11:00
A cosmic trip: from press release to headline
Carmen del Puerto
11:00(11:30
COFFEE BREAK

11:30(11:45
How important are scientific criterio in EPO?
Luis Cuesta
11:45(12:15
Conference summary
TBA
12:15(13:30
Round-table discussion
TBA
13:30
END OF CONFERENCE

19:30
PUBLIC LECTURE:
ET, please phone Earth!
Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest



CCCMENU CCC for 2002

The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of

The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.