PLEASE NOTE:


*

Date sent: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:08:27 -0500 (EST)
From: Benny J Peiser B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk
Subject: CC COMMENTS, 26/02/98
To: cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority: NORMAL

CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE COMMENTS, 26 February 1998
------------------------------------------------

(1) WHY DAVID MORRISON IS UNHAPPY WITH RECENT PRESS REPORTS ABOUT
'INCREASED' METEORIC ACTIVITY
David Morrison dmorrison@mail.arc.nasa.gov

(2) INCREASED INTEREST, NOT INCREASED METEORIC ACTIVITY ACCOUNTS FOR
RECENT FIREBALL REPORTS
Jeremy Tatum universe@uvvm.uvic.ca

======================================
(1) WHY DAVID MORRISON IS UNHAPPY WITH RECENT PRESS REPORTS ABOUT
'INCREASED' METEORIC ACTIVITY

From: David Morrison dmorrison@mail.arc.nasa.gov

NEO News (2/20/98)

Friends and students of NEOs:

There has been a lot of press interest in bright fireballs during the
last year. It is good that people are aware of the presenrce of bright
meteors, and some of this media coverage has helped to inform the
public about NEOs and the impact hazard. However, some of the press
reports have been sensationalistc and have drawn false parallels
between relatively common meteors and rare events that can cause
extensive damage and casualties. Following is an especially instructive
example in which many individually correct facts are linked (perhaps
unintenionally) to form a quite misleading conclusion. I have made
comments (in upper case) within the text to note how this confusing and
perhaps misleading result is achieved.

David Morrison

-------------------------------------------------------

More Fireballs Seen in the West

By MARTHA BELLISLE

c The Associated Press AP-NY-02-15-98 1202EST

DENVER (AP) - The phone lines to Denver's Museum of Natural History have been
buzzing since a fireball streaked across the Colorado sky last month.

That flash of light, caught on a homeowner's security camera, was not an
isolated incident; it was followed by at least four more fireball sightings,
said Jack Murphy of the museum's geology department. He hopes to find pieces
of the celestial objects for the museum's collection.

VERY FEW BRIGHT METEORS PRODUCE METEORITES. THUS MURPHY MAY HOPE TO
FIND SOME, BUT MOST LIKELY HE WILL NOT.

As new reports of sightings keep coming in, scientists are debating the
meteorites' origin and the meaning of the increased activity. There is more
at stake, they say, than where a piece of rock fell to the ground.

WHAT METEORITES? THE REPORT JUMPED FROM METEORS TO METEORITES AS IF
THEY WERE EQUIVALENT.

``These little things are the little brothers and sisters of the bigger
ones,'' said Doug Revelle, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
``The reason for the interest is eventually a big one is going to hit, a real
big one. And the question is: Can we protect ourselves?''

If a large meteor hit Earth, ``life as we know it would be very different,''
he said.

REVELLE'S COMMENTS ARE TRUE BUT IRRELEVANT AS INTERPOSED IN THE STORY HERE.
IT IS A LONG LONG WAY FROM A FEW BRIGHT METEORS (OBJECTS A FEW CENTIMETERS
ACROSS) TO A KILOMETER-SIZE IMPACT.

When a fireball fell into the Earth's atmosphere on Jan. 11, a Front Range
resident's home security camera documented the bright light and shadows along
with the sonic boom caused by the apparent meteorite, Revelle said.

Scientists will use the time between the flash and boom - 132 seconds - to
help determine where the meteorite touched down, assuming it didn't burn out
before landing.

AGAIN, THIS IS A DUBIOUS ASSUMPTION, SINCE VERY FEW METEORS "TOUCH DOWN" TO
PRODUCE METEORITES.

Then, at about noon on Jan. 27, a commercial airline pilot flying over
Wyoming spotted ``a ball of flame trailing smoke.''

``He reported he did get some turbulence from the object,'' Jim Patton,
operations supervisor for the Federal Aviation Administration's flight
service center in Casper told the Rawlins, Wyo., Daily Times. ``He saw the
debris and felt the shock wave from it.''

ALMOST CERTAINLY A MISINTERPRETATION BY THE AIRLINE PILOT. METEORS ARE
TYPICALLY A HUNDRED KM OR MORE AWAY, AND IT IS ALMOST INCONCEIVABLE THAT
ONE CAME BY WITHIN A FEW HUNDRED METERS OF THE PLANE AND CAUSED TURBULANCE
OR A SHOCK. I DON'T DOUBT THE TURBULENCE, JUST THE ASSOCIATION WITH THE
METEOR. THE UFO LITEATURE IS FULL OF FALSE CAUSE-EFFECT ASSOCIATIONS OF
THIS KIND.

Residents in Breckenridge, Colo., also reported seeing that daytime fireball.
Murphy said they believe the space rock was heading south to north and landed
just north of Hanna, Wyo.

WITNESSES OFTEN THINK A METEOR "LANDED" WHEN IN FACT IT WENT BEYOND THE
HORIZON OR BURNED OUT IN THE ATMOSPHERE.

That night, another fireball broke into the Earth's atmosphere.

Scientists believe that meteorite came down in southern Colorado or northern
New Mexico, Murphy said. People in Breckenridge spotted that fireball, too.

VERY UNLIKELY THAT RESPONSIBLE SCIENTISTS THINK IT "CAME DOWN"; SEE ABOVE.

``That one was seen traveling east to west,'' Murphy said. ``It has been a
long time since we've seen one moving like that.''

WHO IS "WE"? METEORS GO IN PRETTY MUCH RANDOM DIRECTIONS. MAYBE MURPHY
HASN'T SEEN ONE RECENTLY GOING EAST TO WEST, BUT THERE IS NOTHING UNUSUAL
ABOUT THE DIRECTION.

Another meteorite was seen and heard at sunrise in eastern Colorado on Jan.
30. And Murphy is investigating a report that came in earlier this month.

So what's happening?

``I don't know,'' Murphy said. ``We can't attribute it to anything. But it is
unusual to have so much activity.''

ONE DOESN'T NEED TO ASSUME ANYTHING CAUSED THIS UNUSUAL ACTIVITY. IT IS
PROBABLY JUST A STATISTICAL FLUCTUATION. ONLY IF THE INCREASE WERE
OBSERVED WORLWIDE WOULD THERE BE A STORY HERE.

University of Denver astronomer Robert Stencel suggested that Earth may be
getting pelted with pieces of the Hale-Bopp comet. Early in January the Earth
passed through the part of space the comet had traveled.

``Comets are like kids with muddy boots,'' Stencel said. ``They leave a trail
of debris in their wakes.''

THIS ASSOCIATION WITH HALE-BOPP NOT A VERY CREDIBLE IDEA, AS LATER NOTED BY
OTHERS.

Meteorites from asteroids breaking out of the orbital belts between Mars and
Jupiter are made up of metals, mostly iron. A meteorite from a comet would
have a lighter element composition, Stencel said.

NOT TRUE; PROBABLY THE REPORTER MISUNDERSTOOD. ONLY A SMALL FRACTION OF
ASTEROIDAL METEORS ARE IRON, PROBABLY LESS THAN 2%.

Such space debris is rare and would be of great scientific value, he said.
Scientists will test the composition of the meteorites - if they can get
their hands on them.

VALUABLE YES, BUT RARE, NO.

Revelle said he's excited about the meteorite activity, but he can't account
for it.

NOR SHOULD THE REPORTER EXPECT HIM TO ACCOUNT FOR IT.

The reports describe a smoke trail following the fireballs - or bolides,
which are exploding meteors.

``The smoke trail is an indication that the object was quite big and
strong,'' Revelle said. ``Over the globe we see objects that are about a
meter across an average of only 12 times a year.''

THIS IS A SUBSTANTIAL UNDERESTIMATE. MORE THAN 100 PER YEAR WOULD BE
CLOSER TO THE CONSENSUS FLUX RATE FOR 1 METER OBJECTS.

Last Oct. 10, a meteorite crashed near West Texas and New Mexico; then on
Dec. 9, a large fireball crashed near Greenland, and on Dec. 13, a meteorite
was seen across hundreds of miles, from Minnesota and Wisconsin south into
Iowa and northern Missouri.

NOT TRUE. BOTH THE TEXAS AND GREENLAND EVENTS WERE INITIALLY REPORTED
AS CRASHES, BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A METEORITE HITTING THE GROUND
IN EITHER CASE. THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW ONE EXAGERATED PRESS
STORY SPAWNS ANOTHER.

Revelle said history may give us some insight into the meaning of the
increase in fireball activity.

About 60 million years ago, an asteroid crashed into the Earth and kicked up
enough dust to blot out the sun. Some scientists believe this resulted in the
death of more than 80 percent of all animals and led to the extinction of
dinosaurs.

"SOME SCIENTISTS BELIEVE" IS AMAZINGLY CONSERVATIVE. BETTER WOULD BE
"MOST SCIENTISTS ARE CONVINCED". IT IS INTERESTING HOW THE REPORTER
EXAGERATES IN DEALING THE WITH METEOR/METEORITE ISSUES BUT BECOMES VERY
CONSERVATIVE WHEN MENTIONING EXTINCTIONS.

``These events seem to occur every 60 million years, give or take 10
million,'' he said. ``We're about three million years short of 60 million.

STRANGE STATEMENT; I DOUBT ANY SCIENTISTS THINK THESE LARGE IMPACTS ARE
STRICTLY PERIODIC. THUS A CLEVER PHASE BECOMES MISLEADING IN THIS CONTEXT.

``In order to defend the Earth from a large meteor, we would need to know
about it while it was months away to deflect it,'' he said. ``If we knew
about it when it was weeks away, it would be too late.''

NOTE THAT USE OF THE TERM "METEOR" FOR A BIG EXTINCTION-CAUSING COMET OR
ASTEROID IMPACT MAKES THE MASS EXTINCTIONS SEEM LIKE A LOGICAL PART OF THE
METEOR STORY.

==========================
From: David Morrison dmorrison@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Benny:

If you chose to distribute to the CC list my commentary on the
Fireballs over Colorado story, you might also like to include this note
that was sent to me. Thanks.

Dave

--------------

(2) INCREASED INTEREST, NOT INCREASED METEORIC ACTIVITY ACCOUNTS FOR
RECENT FIREBALL REPORTS

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 98 15:42:54 PST
From: UNIVERSE@UVVM.UVIC.CA
Subject: Fireballs, etc
To: dmorrison@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Dear David:

The Bellisle article and your comments were interesting.

I have investigated a number of fireballs over Vancouver Island in
recent years. In particular I investigated 1995 Dec 22 and 1996 Dec 17
in detail, driving thousands of km to interview witnesses in situ and
making measurements with compass and clinometer, and getting witnesses
to re-enact their movements to estimate the time between sight and
sound, and analysing seismograph data and so on. Witesses have included
captains of ships and pilots of aircraft, as well as ground-based
witnesses. In both cases it took more than a year between appearance of
the fireball and completion of the analysis and submission for
publication, and in both cases the conclusion was the same, namely:
There is insufficient evidence to say whether or not an impact
occurred, or, if it did, where, within 250 km, the impact point is
likely to be.

Yet I keep reading reports of fireballs followed by "scientists" within
24 hours saying where the meteorite landed, as though it were no effort
at all to reach such a conclusion. A typical example was the Greenland
event. Within days people from the Niels Bohr Institute were saying
where the meteorite landed, on the basis of reports from four trawlers
(I have found without exception that reports from ships and from
aircraft are totally useless as far as getting accurate angles are
concerned), a videoed image of a reflection from a car hood,
seismograph records (which certainly were not of an impact, if indeed
they had anything to do with the fireball) and clouds detected by a
satellite and having nothing whatever to do with the fireball.

The investigation of a fireball is a long drawn-out affair that takes
weeks to do, and with very uncertain results. Indeed it is a serious
question as to whether the effort of interviewing eye-witnesses is
really worthwhile at all. The idea that one can telephone a couple of
people and go out the next day and pick up the meteorite over the next
hill is nonsense.

Fireballs do seem to come in groups. A long gap with no fireballs, and
then a flurry of several within weeks. This could just be a part of the
Poisson distribution, but it's actually an expression of public
interest. The same phenomenon is well-known in birdwatching: one rarity
generates others in the following days. One well-publicized fireball,
and then everyone is seeing them (often just bright shooting stars).

The time between flash and boom is important, but it is important to
note that the boom is not necessarily (or even likely) caused by an
impact. There is a supersonic boom as the meteoroid comes in at
supersonic speed, and often there is a terminal burst if the object
explosively disintegrates. Both of these phenomena generate acoustic
waves, and they take place tens of km above the ground. The
interpretation is not straightforward. Even in the unlikely absence of
wind, the sound does not travel in a straight line, because the sound
speed varies with temperature (height) in the atmosphere. If the
temperature lapse rate in linear, the sound paths are cycloidal arcs.
I shall be submitting a paper shortly to Meteoritics on the propagation
of sound from fireballs.

The turbulence experienced by the airline pilot clearly had nothing
whatever to do with the fireball, which, as you say, would have been
100 of km away. It is almost universal that witnesses think that the
object is very close.

Re the report that the object was travelling from N to S - another very
common mistaken assumption. If the witness was facing west and saw the
object move from right to left, that's all that can be reported. It
does NOT mean that it was going from N to S. In the absence of any
radial velocity information, all the witness is seeing is the
transverse component of the path. The object could have been
going towards the south +/- 89 degrees either way!

You are being very kind in saying that the suggestion (by an astronomer!)
that we are being pelted by Hale-Bopp is "not a very credible idea"! I
would have said that it was preposterous for an astronomer to suggest
any such thing! In a similar vein, some astronomers actually suggested
to the press that the 1996 December 17 fireball over Vancouver Island
might have been associated with the Geminid shower - and a re-entering
satellite that appeared here in November was associated with the Leonids!
These were SCIENTISTS who were saying such things - one cannot blame the
newspaper reporters. Again, the Bellisle article said: "Scientists
believe the meteorite came down..." and you commented that it was "very
unlikely that responsible scientists think it came down". Not quite
fair to the reporter. After all, she did not make any claim that the
scientists who believe it came down were "responsible" scientists. She
would just have been reporting what scientists told her; not
necessarily responsible ones!

Another point on which the reporter may have been on slightly firmer
ground that you credit her for is her "some scientists believe" in the
K/T asteroid. I think your "most scientists are convinced" maybe errs a
bit in the other direction! Incidentally Alan Hildebrand thinks it was
a comet, because the Ir abundance at the K/T boundary agrees with
cometary Ir abundance. Ir has never actually been detected in a comet,
of course, but Alan's a good friend, so I shan't push that minor
detail...

Anyway, it was an interesting article, with some misconceptions and
exaggerations, but good to see that there is some public interest in
the subject. It is also of interest, I think, that it is not only
newspaper reporters (who are working to a deadline day after day on
a hundred different topics) who sometimes get things not quite right,
but scientists who ought to know better. A lot of the stuff about the
Greenland event, for example, must have been given to the press by
"scientists" on flimsy evidence almost immediately after the event.

I enjoy your NEO NEWSes.

Jeremy Tatum



*

Date sent: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 10:56:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Benny J Peiser B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk
Subject: CC DIGEST, 26/02/98
To: cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority: NORMAL

CAMBRDIGE-CONFERENCE DIGEST, 26 February 1998
---------------------------------------------

(1) THE COMING OF A NEW TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_58000/58091.stm

(2) ASSESSING THE SOCIAL COSTS OF NATURAL CATASTROPHES
D. Changnon and S.A. Changnon, NORTH ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY,

(3) CATASTROPHES AND CLIMATE CHANGE: THE VIEW OF INTERNATIONAL
INSURER
G.A. Berz, GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH, MUNICH REINSURANCE

(4) SEARCHING FOR THE MOON’S CORE
Simon Mansfield simon@spacer.com

(5) NEW RESEARCH CONFIRMS LONG-HELD SUSPICION:
ARCHAEO-ASTRONOMERS INVENTED RITUAL DRINKING SESSIONS
The Times, 23 February 1998

=================================

(1) THE COMING OF A NEW TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_58000/58091.stm

19 February 1998

COMPUTERS COME TO LIFE

Israeli scientists are working on a revolutionary idea to make
computers smaller by using DNA strands to 'grow' the circuitry.
The research could signal the beginning of a takeover of the
electronics industry by biotechnology.

At present, silicon chip manufacturers are unable to make the
chips significantly smaller by using current methods. But a team
at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology believes it can
squeeze up to one million times more electronics into the space
occupied by today's fastest computer by using the self-assembling
properties of DNA - the molecule which carries and reproduces our
genetic information.

The Israeli team used DNA to grow a connection between two
electrodes, which was then made into an extremely thin wire by
depositing atoms of silver on it. The team say the wire they have
made is three times narrower than the finest made by conventional
means. But they say much finer connections should be possible
and, by programming the DNA to produce complex networks of
strands, ultra-miniaturised circuitry can be produced.

All the technology needed to cut and shape DNA already exists in
the shape of the natural enzymes used in biotechnology. The
arguments for making electronic devices smaller are compelling.
They work faster, they can be fitted into smaller spaces, they
need less power and they produce less heat.

Dr Uri Silvan of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology said:
"Conventional microelectronics is pretty much approaching its
miniaturisation limit. "Using X-ray lithography to make circuitry
we can go down to dimensions of 0.1 or 0.05 microns. [One micron
is a millionth of a metre]. "But the dimensions we are talking
about are much, much smaller than that, they are about one
nanometre, roughly about 250 times smaller than the smallest
dimensions in contemporary microelectronics. [One nanometre is a
thousand millionth of a metre].

"If you are really able to fabricate devices with these
dimensions, you could squeeze roughly 100,000 times more
electronics, or even one million times more electronics, into the
same volume. That would mean much bigger memories and much faster
electronics. In order to do that we need materials with
self-assembling properties. We need molecules into which we can
encode information which later will make them build themselves
into very complex structures. Information is stored in DNA in this
way, information which is used by biological systems to build very
complex molecules. We are really trying to copy that idea."

If DNA does form the scaffolding for future electronic circuitry,
then biotechnology is likely to move into the electronics
industry. Tomorrow's computers may look more like jellyfish than
the plastic and metal boxes of today. Copyright 1998, BBC

==========================
(2) ASSESSING THE SOCIAL COSTS OF NATURAL CATASTROPHES

D. Changnon and S.A. Changnon: Climatological relevance of major USA
weather losses during 1991-1994. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY,
1998, Vol.18, No.1, pp.37-48

NORTH ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY, DE KALB, IL,
60115, USA

Two insurance indices, which integrate storm types with their losses
from 1948 to 1994, were examined to assess the frequency and intensity
of damaging weather in the USA from 1991 to 1994. These indices adjust
for changing socioeconomic conditions, allowing meaningful temporal
assessment of 1991-1994 conditions against those in earlier years.
Catastrophes, as defined by property loss insurers, were assessed for
two groups, those 707 storms with insured losses between $10 and $100
million and those 189 with greater than $100 million. Both categories
experienced their greatest frequency and caused more loss during the
1991-1994 period than in any prior period. However, the temporal
behaviour of annual frequency and losses for both categories were very
different, with steady increases found for the $10 to $100 million
catastrophes, while the number of >$100 million catastrophes exhibited
a high-low-high distribution and the annual cost distribution was flat
with a few isolated peaks. For both categories the temporal behaviour
of storm intensity was similar, with moderate intensities found in the
recent period and the highest intensities in the 1950s. The crop-hail
losses were high in 1992-1994, and the annual loss costs for the 1948-
1994 period had a U-shaped time distribution similar to that of
the > $100 million catastrophes. Weather conditions (USA mean
temperature and surface cyclone frequency) were found to largely
define: (i) when major, highly expensive weather events occur (and
their annual losses), and (ii) how intense catastrophic storm
conditions and crop-damaging hailstorms are during each year.
Conversely, the shifting target (population as an index) for damaging
(non-hurricane) storms across the USA is the major factor in 'creating'
storms with losses reaching into the low ($10 million) to moderate
($100 million) range. (C) 1998 Royal Meteorological Society.

===============================
(3) CATASTROPHES AND CLIMATE CHANGE: THE VIEW OF INTERNATIONAL
INSURER

G.A. Berz: Catastrophes and climate change: Risks and (re-)actions from
the viewpoint of an international reinsurer. ECLOGAE GEOLOGICAE
HELVETIAE, 1997, Vol.90, No.3, pp.375-379

GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH, MUNICH REINSURANCE CO, D-80791 MUNICH, GERMANY

In the last few decades, the international insurance industry has bean
confronted with a drastic increase in the scope and frequency of great
natural disasters. The trend is primarily attributable to the
continuing steady growth of the world population and the increasing
concentration of people and economic values in urban areas. An
additional factor is the global migration of populations and industries
into areas such as coastal regions, which are particularly exposed to
natural hazards. The natural hazards themselves, on the other hand,
have not yet shown a significant trend, in spite of a number of
indications. The present problems of the insurance industry with regard
to pricing, capacity and loss reserves will be dramatically aggravated
if the greenhouse predictions come true. The shifting of climatic zones
and the increasing intensity of convective processes in the atmosphere
will probably force up the frequency and severity of windstorms
including tornados, hailstorms, floods and storm surges in many parts
of the world with serious consequences for all types of property
Insurance. Rates will have to be raised and in certain coastal areas or
flood plains insurance cover will only be available after considerable
restrictions have been imposed, as for example significant deductibles
and low liability or loss limits. In areas of high insurance density
the loss potential of individual catastrophes can reach a level at
which the national and international insurance industries will run into
serious capacity problems. Recent disasters showed the
disproportionately high participation of reinsurers in extreme disaster
losses and the need for more risk transparency if the insurance
industry is to fulfil its obligations in an increasingly hostile
environment. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

===============================
(4) SEARCHING FOR THE MOON’S CORE

From: Simon Mansfield simon@spacer.com

SEARCHING FOR THE MOON’S CORE

Arizona - February 21, 1998 - A scientist from the University of Arizona
in Tucson will use NASA's latest lunar mission to unearth clues about the
mysterious origins of the moon.

Lon Hood, a senior research scientist at The University of
Arizona's lunar and planetary laboratory, thinks data from the
Lunar Prospector satellite might indicate whether the moon
originated from debris orbiting Earth or from material ejected in
a colossal impact between Earth and some other massive body. As a
member of the magnetometer team, Hood will examine data which
should reveal the presence of a lunar metallic core. The existence
of a lunar core could provide important evidence for one of the
competing theories of the moon's origin.

Planetary scientists know that the moon has a magnetic surface and
lacks a global magnetic field. What they don't know is if that
surface magnetism was caused by ancient impacts from asteroids or
comets, or by a metallic core. Lunar Prospector's magnetometer
instruments will map magnetic anomalies as they correlate with
impact characteristics on nearly the entire lunar surface, and
possibly show if impacts caused the magnetization.

The instruments will also search for external magnetic fields near
the moon caused by electric currents flowing through a metallic
core. Some analyses have suggested that the moon may have had, at
some point, a global magnetic field caused by a metallic core. If
the moon does have a core, data from the magnetometer may provide
information on its size and degree of electrical conductivity, and
possibly explain the source of the surface magnetization.

Verification of a lunar core may be a step toward resolving the
long-standing question among planetary scientists of whether an
airless, celestial body can become magnetized by impact. But it is
especially important because it may be useful in understanding the
moon's origin.

An indication of the size of a lunar metallic core could possibly
lend support to the less-favored co-accretion model of the moon's
formation. According to the co-accretion account, the moon formed
from a collection of debris orbiting the Earth. While the Earth
formed simultaneously, drawing most of the iron among the orbiting
debris into itself, the moon would have absorbed enough iron to
have a substantial metallic core. If the Lunar Prospector's
magnetometer detects a substantial core, it would validate one of
the co-accretion model's predictions.

Currently, however, the more dominant theory of the formation of
the moon is the giant impact theory. On this account, the moon
formed from the material ejected by a tremendous collision between
a huge impactor and the Earth. Since this model assumes that the
ejected material was from the mantle of both the Earth and the
impactor, a very small or nonexistent metallic core is predicted.

It is important to note that although information provided by
Lunar Prospector's magnetometer might be evidence for one model or
the other, it would not conclusively prove either theory. The
discovery of a lunar metallic core could favor the co-accretion
model, but as Hood notes, there is a small class of giant impact
models which suppose that a grazing impact could just as easily
explain the existence of a lunar metallic core.

Hood is developing software which will analyze the data and
minimize interferences like external solar wind fields. Given the
limited value of all of the magnetometer data, data analysis will be
a long, "difficult and delicate" process.

Does Hood think the moon has a core?

"I think it does. The question is: how big is it? It could be as
large as 500 km in radius."

A metallic core that big would be a little less than a third of the
moon's total radius.

After the one year nominal mission is complete, there are plans to
lower the spacecraft altitude to ten miles above the surface. At
this distance, the magnetometer's measurements of lunar crustal
magnetism will improve considerably. In the meantime, magnetometer
data can be analyzed to investigate fields resulting from
electrical currents in a lunar metallic core. Copyright 1998,
Spacer.Com

======================
(5) NEW RESEARCH CONFIRMS LONG-HELD SUSPICION:
ARCHAEO-ASTRONOMERS INVENTED RITUAL DRINKING SESSIONS

From: The Times, 23 February 1998

NEOLITHIC ISLANDERS INVENTED DRINKING SESSIONS

By Gillian Harris, Scotland Correspondent

The first heavy drinkers in Britain were Neolithic farmers on a
Hebridean island, archaeologists have discovered.

Experts who examined a 3,000 years-old site close to the Callanish
standing stones on Lewis believe that the islanders were the first
Britons to indulge in "ritualistic and habitual" use of alcohol.

Their apparent fondness for drink and their known fascination with
the Moon suggested that alcohol was an important part of their
lives, said Geraint Coles, an environmental archaeologist at
Edinburgh University. "There is atheory that they were a cult who
based their lives around the ritualistic and habitual use of
alcohol", Dr Coles said. [...]

Archaeologists found that they [numerous drinking vessels]
contained traces of a potent beer made from heather, and a
honey-based mead. The farmers are also thought to have created a
crude form of whiskey. They also grew wheat to grind into flour
[...]

The farmers are thought to have errected the Callanish standing
stones, arranged in the shape of a Celtic cross. The enormous
slabs, some more than 16ft high and weighing six tons, have a
burial cairn at their centre and are in line with the rising and
setting of the Moon. Copyright 1998, Times Newspapers Ltd

--------------------------------
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