PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 15 March 1999
---------------------------

(1) ROSETTA LANDER UNVEILED
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(2) OUR LITTLE RELATIVES ARE LOST IN SPACE
    The Sydney Herald, 13/03/99

(3) SOME STILL DON'T GET IT: THE DUMBING DOWN OF US SCIENCE REPORTING
    The Washington Post, 10 March 1999

(4) HEINRICH LAYERS AND ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE
    S.R. Hemming et al., LAMONT DOHERTY EARTH OBSERVATORY

(5) NEW RESEARCH ON EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORGANICS
    M.P. Bernstein et al., NASA, AMES RES CTR

================
(1) ROSETTA LANDER UNVEILED

From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

ESA Science News
http://sci.esa.int

11 Mar 1999

Rosetta Lander unveiled

A full size model of the Rosetta lander was presented to the public for
the first time today. The unveiling ceremony took place at the
Institute for Space Simulation in Cologne-Porz, a facility operated by
the German Aerospace Research Centre (Deutschen Zentrums f=FCr Luft-
und Raumfahrt or DLR).

Dignitaries present at the press conference included the German
Parliamentary State Secretary, Wolf-Michael Catenhusen, and DLR
Chairman, Professor Walter Kroell.

Also available to answer questions from the press were ESA Project
Scientist Gerhard Schwehm, DLR lander project manager Stephan Ulamec,
and lander lead scientist Helmut Rosenbauer from the Max-Planck-Institut
fuer Aeronomie.

"The Rosetta lander will play a key role in our investigation of Comet
Wirtanen," said Dr. Schwehm. "It will provide ground truth about the
nucleus which will complement the orbiter's measurements of the
comet's composition, surface and subsurface conditions."

The box-shaped Rosetta lander measures approximately 1 metre across
and 80 cm in height. The flight version will be attached to the side of
the Rosetta orbiter during the journey to Comet Wirtanen, then soft land
on the surface of the icy nucleus. Data from the lander will be relayed
back to Earth via the orbiter.

The structural and thermal model of the lander presented at the meeting
will be used for vibration and thermal tests. These are needed to ensure
that the probe will survive the hazards of shaking during launch and
extreme temperature variations during its 9-year-long voyage to the
comet.

USEFUL LINKS FOR THIS STORY

More about Rosetta
http://sci.esa.int/rosetta

DLR website
http://www.dlr.de/

Rosetta lander website
http://roland.mpae.gwdg.de/

Rosetta lander instruments
http://www.estec.esa.nl/spdwww/rosetta/html/science.html

================
(2) OUR LITTLE RELATIVES ARE LOST IN SPACE

The Sydney Herald, 13/03/99
http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/9903/13/text/national15.html

By RICHARD MACEY

Almost 70 years after the discovery of Pluto, Australian astronomers
have started hunting for new planets lurking on the outer limits of our
solar system.

"It is conceivable we could find an object similar to Pluto in size and
even further from the Sun," said Dr Michael Ashley, of the University
of NSW's School of Physics.

The sun's ninth and last known planet, Pluto, was discovered in 1930 by
an American astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh.

The new search, led by Professor Dave Jewitt, of the University of
Hawaii, and supported by scientists from the universities of NSW and
Melbourne, is using the relatively small automated patrol telescope at
Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran.

FULL STORY at
http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/9903/13/text/national15.html

==============
(3) SOME STILL DON'T GET IT: THE DUMBING DOWN OF US SCIENCE REPORTING

From The Washington Post, 10 March 1999
http://www.washingtonpost.com:80/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-03/10/165l-031099-idx.html

Pluto: What It Is

By Stephen P. Maran
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 10, 1999; Page H05

"What is Pluto anyway?" a perplexed person asked me recently. "Is it a
planet or not?" Her confusion was only natural, given the recent spate
of news items, editorial cartoons and statements by scientists and
their organizations.

The controversy began in January when Brian G. Marsden, head of the
Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU),
proposed designating Pluto as "minor planet" (or asteroid) No. 10,000.
In his view, it fits that definition best (sic). But others felt this
designation would by implication remove Pluto from the traditional
planetary Big Nine.

Stephen P. Maran is assistant director of space sciences for
information and outreach at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt. Opinions expressed are his own.


FULL STORY at
http://www.washingtonpost.com:80/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-03/10/165l-031099-idx.html

==================
(4) HEINRICH LAYERS AND ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE

S.R. Hemming*), W.S. Broecker, W.D. Sharp, G.C. Bond, R.H. Gwiazda,
J.F. McManus, M. Klas, I. Hajdas: Provenance of Heinrich layers in core
V28-82, northeastern Atlantic: Ar-40/Ar-39 ages of ice-rafted
hornblende, Pb isotopes in feldspar grains, and Nd-Sr-Pb isotopes in
the fine sediment fraction. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 1998,
Vol.164, No.1-2, pp.317-333

*) LAMONT DOHERTY EARTH OBSERV,RT 9W,PALISADES,NY,10964

Several correlatable layers of sediment, rich in ice rafted grains,
have been documented in the North Atlantic. The most notable within the
last glacial cycle are the Heinrich layers, layers extremely rich in
ice rafted detritus and generally barren of foraminifera within the
North Atlantic ice rafted detritus (IRD) belt. The view of these layers
is that they represent events where great armadas of icebergs were
launched into the North Atlantic. The importance of the Heinrich layers
lies in their connection with abrupt climate change in the North
Atlantic, and perhaps globally. There is a growing number of published
provenance studies of the Heinrich layers in the North Atlantic, based
on a variety of methods. However, there is little overlap of methods
applied to the same samples. In this contribution, we present a
multi-component provenance study of Heinrich layers H1, H2, H4 and H5
from core V28-82 in the eastern North Atlantic. Our results indicate
that virtually the entire inventory of terrigenous elastic detritus in
Heinrich layers H2, H4 and H5 came from ancient continental sources
surrounding the Labrador Sea. Although Heinrich layer H1 is similar in
many respects, it appears to have some significant differences relative
to the other three. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

==================
(5) NEW RESEARCH ON EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORGANICS

M.P. Bernstein*), S.A. Sandford, L.J. Allamandola, J.S. Gillette, S.J.
Clemett, R.N. Zare: UV irradiation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
in ices: Production of alcohols, quinones, and ethers. SCIENCE, 1999,
Vol.283, No.5405, pp.1135-1138

*) NASA,AMES RES CTR,MAIL STOP 245-6,MOFFETT FIELD,CA,94035

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water ice were exposed to
ultraviolet (UV) radiation under astrophysical conditions, and the
products were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.
Peripheral carbon atoms were oxidized, producing aromatic alcohols,
ketones; and ethers, and reduced, producing partially hydrogenated
aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that account for the interstellar 3.4-
micrometer emission feature. These classes of compounds are all present
in carbonaceous meteorites. Hydrogen and deuterium atoms exchange
readily between the PAHs and the ice, which may explain the deuterium
enrichments found in certain meteoritic molecules. This work has
important implications for extraterrestrial organics in biogenesis.
Copyright 1999, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

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