PLEASE NOTE:


*

Date sent: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 14:49:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Benny J Peiser B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk
Subject: CC DIGEST, 03/03/98
To: cambridge-conference@livjm.ac.uk
Priority: NORMAL

CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE DIGEST, 3 February 1998
--------------------------------------------

(1) ABSTRACTS OF 29th LUNAR & PLANETARY SCIENCE CONFERENCE AVAILABLE
Peter Abrahams telscope@europa.com

(2) VISUAL OBSERVATIONS OF METEOR STORMS
Sirko Molau molau@informatik.rwth-aachen.de

(3) MUIRHEAD TO LEAD DEEP SPACE 4/CHAMPOLLION MISSION
Ron Baalke BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov

(4) WHY GOD NEVER GOT TENURE
Benny J Peiser b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk

==================================
(1) ABSTRACTS OF 29th LUNAR & PLANETARY SCIENCE CONFERENCE AVAILABLE

From: Peter Abrahams telscope@europa.com

Subject: Papers on Impact at LPSC
See http://cass.jsc.nasa.gov/meetings/LPSC98/pdf/sess42.pdf
for abstracts of papers to be presented at the 29th Lunar & Planetary
Science Conference, March 1998 (Adobe Acrobat required)
Some of the more interesting papers on impact phenomena include:

Impacts of meteroids on the moon produce a light flash that was modeled
to estimate duration, spectra, and shape; for objects of different
velocities, sizes, and compositions. Impacts release vapor, and if that
vapor condenses, the temperature of the impact plume remains constant
for an extended time as evaporation produces a release of energy. If
there is no condensation, adiabatic cooling causes rapid temperature
drop. The vapor will be opaque or transparent, depending on the
composition of the soil and the meteoroid. IR detectors would be much
better than visual light detectors, because often only 10-20% of the
radiation is at visible frequencies. (Nemtchinov)

Two very intriguing papers concern lunar chondrules, crystalline
spherules under 1 mm in diameter, found in samples returned by 4 lunar
missions. These chondrules have various textures & mineralogies,
including relict grains and sulfide rims. Most seem to have
crystallized from a melted state while in in free flight. There is
evidence that these might have been formed as impact melt. These lunar
chondrules have compositional similarities to lunar highland samples.
There is no evidence for a meteoritic origin, since they differ in
mineralogy and composition. Their crystalline qualities seem to be
related more to cooling rates than composition. An important
conclusion is the possibility that some chondrules in meteorites formed
from impact events. (Ruzika)

Impact craters on the moon give us a view into the layers of basalts
that underlie the mare. The Clementine mission provided images at 11
wavelengths. Four craters, 18 to 28 km. in diameter and over 2 km.
deep, were mapped, charting iron content as an indicator of mare
thickness. The crater ejecta was also measured. Evidence was gained
concerning the thermal and resurfacing history of the moon. (Thomson)

Verification of the comprehensive test ban treaty (forbidding
underground nuclear bomb tests) includes seismic detectors that could
be triggered by a meteorite impact. 50 of these detectors, across the
globe, can detect seismic magnitudes of 3 or 4. This has already been
an issue of concern; in 1993, a seismic event of mag 3.6 in W.
Australia occurred just north of "where members of the Aum Shinrikyo
terrorist cult had been trying to mine uranium, and carrying out tests
with chemical weapons." The conclusion was that the seismic event was
probably an iron meteorite, creating a crater over 100 meters in
diameter [no mention of discovery of such a crater]. Ablation &
deceleration in the atmosphere, frequency of iron & stony meteorites,
water surface of the earth, and other factors were considered.
It is concluded that meteorite impacts that could trigger the seismic
detectors occur on a time scale of decades. The existing seismic
records probably include meteorite impacts misidentified as
earthquakes. (Chyba)

165 impact craters on Mars were studied from Mariner and Viking
photographs. ‘Unique styles of ejecta’ were noted, volume of cavity
estimated, later erosion measured, The shapes of the craters were
mathematically analyzed. They are conical and paraboloidal, and as
diameter increases, they become more spherical. (Garvin)

Unrelated to impact but worthy of mention are some predictions on
Martian caves. Whether formed from underground water flow or tectonic
activity, caves on Mars might be a likely place to look for biological
activity. The types of caves that might exist, and the varieties of
sediment they might contain, are discussed. There are dozens of papers
on Mars, and there appears to have developed a terminology for
geological eras on Mars; as this article mentions the "Late Amazonian".
(Grin)

================================
(2) VISUAL OBSERVATIONS OF METEOR STORMS

From: Sirko Molau molau@informatik.rwth-aachen.de

Even though it is still the basic meteor observation technique, visual
observation has a number of disadvantages and limitations. One of the
limitations became obvious during the spectacular Leonid meteor storm
of 1966. When the number of meteors exceeded several shooting stars per
second, human observers were not able anymore to follow the activity
with the standard observing techniques.

In 1966, the observers switched to a different method near the time of
maximum of the Leonid storm. They did not count the individual meteors
anymore, but opened their eyes for only a second and tried to estimate
the numbers of meteors at this moment. Until now it is not perfectly
clear, in how far this change of technique influenced the rates derived
from the observations afterwards (EZHR>100.000). A recent A&A paper of
Peter Jenniskens suggested, for example, that the activity may have
been overestimated by an order of magnitude. There was an argument in
recent WGN issues, whether human observers are able to give precise
activity estimates at all, when the equivalent ZHR becomes bigger than
10.000.

So, one of the main scientific goal for the possible return of the
storm in 1998 is to calibrate the old observations with new data. The
idea is to use the same observing techniques as in 1966, but operate
video systems in parallel to have the 'ground truth'. If the rates will
be high enough we may find out, whether visual estimates under these
conditions are systematically in error, and if they are reliable at
all.

In Germany, a group of about 15 observers is preparing for an
expedition to Mongolia. In one of the preparation meetings the idea was
born, to write a computer simulation of a meteor storm. This may give
us a first clue, what to expect and how the chances for accurate visual
observations are. In addition, different visual methods may be tested
in advance to find out, which observing technique is most appropriate
for observations under very high activity.

We started with a simple program of H. Luethen. It displayed an
arbitrary number of lines for just one second, similar to the 1966
observing technique. Later the estimates were compared with the true
number of lines displayed. The tests have been repeatedly carried out
by different German observers in the last few weeks. The results were
promising - usually the relative error was not larger than about 25%. A
detailed analysis will be published in WGN later on.

The major drawback of this first simulation was, that it had only
little in common with reality. It was a good test, whether humans are
able to estimate a larger number of objects at one instance, but under
clear skies the job is much more difficult.

This is why I decided to develop an improved simulation. Now, meteors
are not anymore simple lines, but elongated moving objects. They do
have different brightnesses, light curves, velocities, directions,
persistent trains, etc. as in reality. Furthermore, the sequence of
shooting stars is computed with an exponential distribution. Thus, the
often reported 'cluster effects' become clearly visible. A number of
background stars helps to improve the display.

To run the program, a fast PC / graphics card is necessary. The
simulation should be executed under DOS.
The software is available via anonymous from IMO’s ftp server at
ftp.imo.net, directory /pub/software/metsim, or via our WWW homepage at
http://www.imo..net/visual/major03.html.

Please, send your questions, data files, suggestions for improvements,
and other comments to the author (molau@informatik.rwth-aachen.de).

Enjoy the simulation!
Sirko Molau

----------------------------------------
Sirko Molau -- Video Commission Director
International Meteor Organization
e-mail: video@imo.net
WWW : http://www.imo.net/video
----------------------------------------

==========================
(3) MUIRHEAD TO LEAD DEEP SPACE 4/CHAMPOLLION MISSION

From: Ron Baalke BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Franklin O'Donnell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 26, 1998

MUIRHEAD TO LEAD DEEP SPACE 4/CHAMPOLLION MISSION

Brian K. Muirhead, project manager for NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission
that delivered a lander and rover to the surface of Mars, has been named
project manager for the Deep Space 4/Champollion mission to a comet.

Planned for launch in 2003, the Deep Space 4/Champollion spacecraft
will rendezvous with Comet Tempel 1 in 2005 and spend several months
orbiting the comet nucleus making high-resolution maps of its surface.
The spacecraft will deploy a lander with a 1-meter-long (3.3-foot)
drill to collect samples that will be analyzed on-site; an attempt will
be made to return a sample to Earth in 2010.

The project is part of the Deep Space mission series under the NASA/JPL
New Millennium Program, designed to perform flight demonstrations of
new spacecraft technologies for solar system and Earth-orbiting
missions.

A native of Chicago, Muirhead joined JPL in 1978 and has worked on
missions including Galileo to Jupiter and the Earth-orbiting Spaceborne
Imaging Radar (SIR-C). Muirhead also managed JPL's Advanced Spacecraft
Development Group and Mechanical Systems Integration Section. He
joined the Mars Pathfinder mission as flight system manager and was
responsible for the design, development, test and launch of the
spacecraft. After launch, he served as deputy project manager before
being named project manager upon Pathfinder's successful landing in
July 1997.

Muirhead holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the
University of New Mexico and a master's degree in aeronautical
engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

JPL is managed for NASA by Caltech.

=======================
(4) WHY GOD NEVER GOT TENURE

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

1. Only one major publication...

2. ...in Hebrew

3. No references.

4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.

5. There are some doubts that he wrote it himself.

6. May be true he created the world, but what has he done since then?

7. Scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.

8. Never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human
subjects.

9. When experiment went awry, tried to cover it by drowning subjects.

10. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, deleted them from sample.

11. Rarely came to class and just told students to read the book.

12. Expelled first two students for learning too much.

13. Only had ten requirements, but most of his students failed them.

--------------------------------
THE CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE NETWORK
--------------------------------
The Cambridge-Conference List is a scholarly electronic network
moderated by Dr Benny J Peiser at Liverpool John Moores University,
United Kingdom. It is the aim of this network to disseminate
information and research findings related to i) geological and
historical neo-catastrophism, ii) NEO research and the hazards to
civilisation due to comets, asteroids and meteor streams, and iii) the
development of a planetary civilisation capable of protecting itself
against cosmic disasters. To subscribe, please contact Benny J Peiser
b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk . Information circulated on this network is
for scholarly and educational use only. The attached information may
not be copied or reproduced for any other purposes without prior
permission of the copyright holders.



CCCMENU CCC for 1998

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.