PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 29 March 1999
---------------------------

(1) REAL SPACE AGE IS JUST BEGINNING, SYMPOSIUM CONCLUDES
    CNN Interactive

(2) EARTH'S WATER PROBABLY DIDN'T COME FROM COMETS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(3) THE 1997 LEONID METEOR STORMLET
    Takema Hashimoto <thashi@din.or.jp>

(4) US NAVAL OBSERVATORY EPHEMERIDES OF THE LARGEST ASTEROIDS
    J.L. Hilton, US NAVAL OBSERVATORY

(5) NO INCREASED IMPACT DANGER FROM LONG-PERIOD COMETS DUE TO STELLAR
    ENCOUNTERS WITH OORT CLOUD
    J. Garcia Sanchez et al., CALTECH, JPL

(6) PARTICULAR MASS LOSS FROM COMET HALE-BOPP
    D. Jewitt*) & H. Matthews, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

(7) NEW RESEARCH ON MIDDLE HOLOCENE CLIMATE CHANGE
    http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/uga-swp031999.html

(8) ATMOSPHERIC CHEMICALS SEEN IN NEW LIGHT
    http://cnn.com/NATURE/9903/24/snow.ozone.enn/


===================
(1) REAL SPACE AGE IS JUST BEGINNING, SYMPOSIUM CONCLUDES

From CNN Interactive, March 26, 1999
http://cnn.com/US/9903/27/AM-SeaLaunch.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With a sober look toward the past and giddy
anticipation of the future, scientists, engineers and visionaries
gathered in Washington this week to grapple with the big questions of
space exploration: Where do we go, why should we go, and how will we
get there?

While there was optimism to spare at the daylong "Space 2000: Space
Exploration at the Millennium" symposium, hosted by American
University, even the most ebullient acknowledged that the political
conditions that fueled America's conquest of the moon no longer exist.

FULL STORY at
http://cnn.com/US/9903/27/AM-SeaLaunch.ap/index.html

====================
(2) EARTH'S WATER PROBABLY DIDN'T COME FROM COMETS

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

Media Relations
Caltech

Contact: Robert Tindol
        (626) 395-3631
        tindol@caltech.edu

Earth's water probably didn't come from comets, Caltech researchers say

PASADENA -- A new Caltech study of comet Hale-Bopp suggests that comets did
not give Earth its water, buttressing other recent studies but contrary to
the longstanding belief of many planetary scientists.

In the March 18 issue of Nature, cosmochemist Geoff Blake and his team show
that Hale-Bopp contains sizable amounts of "heavy water," which contains a
heavier isotope of hydrogen called deuterium.

Thus, if Hale-Bopp is a typical comet, and if comets indeed gave Earth its
water supply billions of years ago, then the oceans should have roughly the
same amount of deuterium as comets. In fact, the oceans have significantly
less..

"An important question has been whether comets provided most of the water
in Earth's oceans," says Blake, professor of cosmochemistry and planetary
science at Caltech. "From the lunar cratering record, we know that,
shortly after they were made, both the moon and Earth were bombarded by
large numbers of asteroids or comets.

"Did one or the other dominate?"

The answer lies in the Blake team's measurement of a form of heavy water
called HDO, which can be measured both in Earth's oceans using mass
spectrometers and in comets with Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory
(OVRO) Millimeter Array. Just as radio waves go through clouds,
millimeter waves easily penetrate the coma of a comet.

This is where cosmochemists can get a view of the makings of the comet
billions of years ago, before the sun had even coalesced from an
interstellar cloud. In fact, the millimeter-wave study of deuterium in
water and in organic molecules in the jets emitted from the surface of
the nucleus shows that Hale-Bopp is composed of 15 to 40 percent
primordial material that existed before the sun formed.

The jets are quite small in extent, so the image clarity provided by the
OVRO Millimeter Array was crucial in the current study. "Hale-Bopp came
along at just the right time for our work," Blake says. "We didn't have
all six telescopes in the array when Halley's comet passed by, and
Hyakutake was a very small comet. Hale-Bopp was quite large, and so it
was the first comet that could be imaged at high spatial and spectral
resolution at millimeter wavelengths."

One other question that the current study indirectly addresses is the
possibility that comets supplied Earth with the organic materials that
contributed to the origin of life. While the study does not resolve the
issue, neither does it eliminate the possibility.

Also involved in the Nature study are Charlie Qi, a graduate student in
planetary science at Caltech; Michiel Hogerheijde of the UC Berkeley
department of astronomy; Mark Gurwell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center
for Astrophysics, and Duane Muhleman, professor emeritus of planetary
science at Caltech.

For full diagrams and further illustration of Geoff Blake's recent study
see the Planetary Science's Press Release,
   http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~pa/press.html

Related Links

The Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech
http://www.gps.caltech.edu/

Nature
http://www.nature.com/

===================
(3) THE 1997 LEONID METEOR STORMLET

From Takema Hashimoto <thashi@din.or.jp>

A surprising Leonid meteor stormlet which was recorded by video with
Image Intensifire in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, on November 17, 1997 now opens
on NMS web site.  URL is as below.

http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~nms/kinosi_e.html

This movie is a 1.3MB AVI format file, which picture size is 320 x 240
and flame rate is about 30 flame/s.  It was treated by Cinepack Codec.

This article is as below.

Kinoshita,M., Maruyama,M., and Sagayama,T., Preliminary activity of
Leonid meteor storm observed with a video camera in 1997. GEOPHYSICAL
RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL.. 26, NO. 1, PAGES 41-44, JANUARY 1,1999

http://earth.agu.org/GRL/articles/1998GL900241/GL602W01.html
http://earth.agu.org/GRL/articles/1998GL900241/GL602W01.pdf

Clear skies!,  Takema
thashi@din.or.jp  Hashimoto, Takema
Minor Meteor Shower Circular(MMSC)
URL : http://www.din.or.jp/~thashi/index_E.htm
-----------------------------------
Nippon Meteor Society (NMS)
Association of Meteor Observers in and around Tokyo Area (AMOTA)

===================
(4) US NAVAL OBSERVATORY EPHEMERIDES OF THE LARGEST ASTEROIDS

J.L. Hilton: US Naval Observatory ephemerides of the largest asteroids.
ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 1999, Vol.117, No.2, pp.1077-1086

US NAVAL OBSERVATORY,3450 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW,WASHINGTON,DC,20392

A new set of ephemerides for 15 of the largest asteroids has been
produced for use in the Astronomical Almanac. The ephemerides cover the
period from 1800 through 2100. The internal uncertainty in the mean
longitude at epoch, 1997 December 18, ranges from 0''.05 for 7 Iris
through 0''.22 for 65 Cybele, and the uncertainty in the mean motion
varies from 0''.02 per century for 4 Vesta to 0''.14 per century for
511 Davida. This compares very favorably with the internal errors for
the outer planets in recent Jet Propulsion Laboratory planetary
ephemerides. However, because the asteroids have relatively little mass
and are subject to perturbations by other asteroids, the actual
uncertainties in their mean motions are likely to be a few tenths of an
arcsecond per century. As part of the improvement to the ephemerides,
new masses and densities were determined for 1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, and 4
Vesta, the three largest asteroids. These masses are as follows: Ceres
= (4.39 +/- 0.04) x 10(-10) M-circle dot, Pallas = (1.59 +/- 0.05) x
10(-10) M-circle dot, and Vesta = (1.69 +/- 0.11) x 10(-10) M-circle
dot. The mass for Ceres is smaller than most previous determinations of
its mass. This smaller mass is a direct consequence of the increase in
the mass determined for Pellas. The densities found for these three
asteroids are 2.00 +/- 0.03 g cm(-3) for Ceres, 4.2 +/- 0.3 gm cm(-3)
for Pallas, and 4.3 +/- 0.3 g cm(-3) for Vesta. The density for Ceres
is somewhat greater than that found for the taxonomically similar
253 Mathilde. Copyright 1999, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

=================
(5) NO INCREASED IMPACT DANGER FROM LONG-PERIOD COMETS DUE TO STELLAR
    ENCOUNTERS WITH OORT CLOUD

J. Garcia Sanchez*), R.A. Preston, D.L. Jones, P.R. Weissman,
J.F. Lestrade, D.W. Latham, R.P. Stefanik: Stellar encounters with the
Oort cloud based on Hipparcos data. ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 1999,
Vol.117, No.2, pp.1042-1055

*) CALTECH,JET PROP LAB,4800 OAK GROVE DR,PASADENA,CA,91109

We have combined Hipparcos proper-motion and parallax data for nearby
stars with ground-based radial velocity measurements to find stars that
may have passed (or will pass) close enough to the Sun to perturb the
Oort cloud. Close stellar encounters could deflect large numbers of
comets into the inner solar system, which would increase the impact
hazard at Earth. We find that the rate of close approaches by star
systems (single or multiple stars) within a distance D (in parsecs)
from the Sun is given by N = 3.5D(2.12) MYr(-1), less than the number
predicted by a simple stellar dynamics model. However, this value is
clearly a lower limit because of observational incompleteness in the
Hipparcos data set. One star, Gliese 710, is estimated to have a
closest approach of less than 0.4 pc 1.4 Myr in the future, and several
stars come within 1 pc during a +/- 10 Myr interval. We have performed
dynamical simulations that show that none of the passing stars perturb
the Oort cloud sufficiently to create a substantial increase in the
long-period comet flux at Earth's orbit. Copyright 1999, Institute for
Scientific Information Inc.

====================
(6) PARTICULAR MASS LOSS FROM COMET HALE-BOPP

D. Jewitt*) & H. Matthews: Particular mass loss from comet Hale-Bopp.
ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 1999, Vol.117, No.2, pp.1056-1062

*) UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,INST ASTRON,2680 WOODLAWN DR,HONOLULU,HI,96822

Large particles may be present in comets in numbers sufficient to
dominate the total mass of the coma. These large particles are not
readily sensed by conventional (optical - infrared) techniques but are
prominent at submillimeter wavelengths. Images taken using a new camera
sensitive to submillimeter wavelengths reveal that comet Hale-Bopp was
a prodigious source of particulate matter, releasing dust at 2000
metric tons per second when near perihelion and contributing 3 x 10(13)
kg to the interplanetary dust complex. The dust production rate
exceeded that of gas (mostly water) by a factor greater than 5.
Copyright 1999, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

=====================
(7) NEW RESEARCH ON MIDDLE HOLOCENE CLIMATE CHANGE

http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/uga-swp031999.html

From Bob Kobres <bkobres@arches.uga.edu>

Southeast Was Probably Warmer, Wetter 5,000 Years Ago Than Previously
Thought, University Of Georgia Geographer Says

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Middle Holocene Period -- from 5,000 to 7,000
years ago -- was a crucial time in what is now the Southeastern
United States. The human population was increasing and pine trees
began to spread north in vast numbers, displacing deciduous forests.

Until recently, some scientists suggested that the Middle Holocene
period in the Southeast was marked by a warm, dry climate somewhat
like that of the Upper Midwest. Recent studies by a University of
Georgia geographer and his graduates students, however, have found
that the climate was, in fact, warm and wet.

FULL STORY at
http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/uga-swp031999.html

==================
(8) ATMOSPHERIC CHEMICALS SEEN IN NEW LIGHT

http://cnn.com/NATURE/9903/24/snow.ozone.enn/

From Bob Kobres <bkobres@arches.uga.edu>

March 23, 1999

University researchers studying natural processes that influence
ozone in the Arctic atmosphere have discovered that snowpacks not
only absorb chemicals from the atmosphere, but also can help produce
them.

The findings cast new light on scientists' perceptions of how
atmospheric gases are processed, said Paul Shepson, a professor of
atmospheric chemistry at Purdue University.

The findings may also affect the way that scientists view data from
ice core studies, because researchers have assumed that the air
trapped in ice provided representative samples of atmospheric
conditions at the time the ice was formed.

"Ice core studies designed to look at reactive species such as
nitrates may have to be revisited, as the air bubbles found in these
ice cores may not be the mirrors of atmospheric composition that we
suspected they were," said Shepson.

However, this is not a concern for more stable greenhouse gases such
as carbon dioxide and methane, which have been extensively studied in
ice cores, because these stable gases are less likely to react with
other compounds in snow or ice.

FULL STORY at
http://cnn.com/NATURE/9903/24/snow.ozone.enn/

Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network,

----------------------------------------
THE CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE NETWORK (CCNet)
----------------------------------------
The CCNet is a scholarly electronic network. To subscribe/unsubscribe,
please contact the moderator 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. The fully indexed archive of the CCNet, from
February 1997 on, can be found at http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/cccmenu.html


*

CCNet-SPECIAL: ANDREA MILANI'S ANTI-NATO PROTEST
------------------------------------------------

MODERATOR'S NOTE

Last Saturday evening, I received the attached message by Andrea
Milani, an internationally renowned Italian astronomer and NEO
researcher. In his political statement, Andrea Milani announced that in
protest against the current Nato air strikes, he would not publish the
results of his asteroid research done in collaboration with his Serbian
colleague Zoran Knezevic. "The results already obtained shall not be
made available to other scientists, until he has the possibility to
visit me to write the paper".

Andrea has asked me to post his anti-Nato protest (and his Serbian
mythology, see http://copernico.dm.unipi.it/~milani/belgrado) on the
CCNet. It is with great reluctance, and only because Andrea Milani is
an eminent member of the NEO research community, that I have decided
to accept his request. However, being the son of Holocaust survivors
myself, I am unable to circulate Andrea's unbalanced views without an
unequivocal declaration that I utterly abhor the current extermination
campaign by Serbian forces against ethnic Albanians and their expulsion
from Kosovo.

The current war against the ethnic Albanians waged by the Serbian
police and Yugoslav Army has been brutal, indiscriminate and genocidal,
resulting in serious violations of international humanitarian law,
including attacks on civilians and summary executions. All human
rights organisations are agreed that it is the duty of the
international community to help rescue the ethnic Albanians from
extermination and total expulsion. I wholeheartedly support all of the
current rescue attempts, including Nato's military intervention, and
only hope that they will be able to stop Serbia's attempted genocide as
soon as possible.

Benny J Peiser

P.S. I have also attached information provided by HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH about the severe suppression of academic freedom
by the Serbian government.

=======================
PROPER ELEMENTS AND REAL LIFE

On Sat, 27 Mar 1999 20:39:49 +0100 (MET) Andrea Milani Comparetti
<milani@copernico.dm.unipi.it> wrote:

Dear Benny,

I thank you for advertising my work, as you did disseminating the
abstracts of some of my papers in CCNet of March 23, 1999. I believe
this is a service useful to both authors and readers. However, I would
like to point out to you, and to the readers of CCNeT, one crucial
point which might have escaped your attention.

One of the abstracts you disseminated was about a new generation
catalog of proper elements of the asteroids, by myself and Zoran
Knezevic. In these days Zoran Knezevic is living with his family in
Belgrade under the NATO bombardments. He was alive and well, until the
time of his last E-mail message, and busy packing in underground
shelters the telescopes, computers and books of the National
Astronomical Observatory of Serbia.

I think you would object to any attempt to transform CCNeT in a forum
for political discussion. I also think that Science (with capital S)
should be above politics, and in the long run is more important. In
the short run, however, human lifes matter, and Science can be, and
often is, undermined from below.

As an example which does concern the readers of CCNeT, the work
presented in the abstract you disseminated was in fact done in 1997
and early 1998. In successive visits in Italy, and also to some extent
in remote mode, Zoran has completed with me new work in that some
field. We have now computed a new generation proper elements catalog,
at least three times more accurate than the previous ones, and with an
accuracy estimate for each individual asteroid; we have also
systematic information on `stable chaos' effects. Zoran was scheduled
to come to visit me from April 15 to finish up the work and write the
corresponding paper, thus making the new data available to the
scientific community for new analysis of e.g. asteroid families,
asteroidal collisional models, sources of near Earth asteroids, and so
on.  At the moment, his visit has been delayed, but he might not be
able to come for quite some time, if ever.

Now please understand my moral dilemma. I have always taken very
strong stance against the intrusions of international politics in
scientific affairs: maybe somebody remembers my intervention at the
IAU General Assembly in 1994, against the application of `scientific'
sanctions to the Yugoslav delegation (national representative being
the same Zoran Knezevic). I also do not want to appear as a defender
of the Serb nationalist politics. For my opinion on today's Serbia,
you may consult my guide of Belgrade at
       http://copernico.dm.unipi.it/~milani/belgrado/
especially in the section "The legend and a friendly advice".

I am also conscious that the idea of stealth bombers turning back
because the NATO officials are afraid of the public opinion outcry for
the damage done to proper elements catalogs might result in loud
laughter.  I would laugh too, if I saw somebody naif to the point of
believing that wars can be stopped by individual actions. But a man
has to do what a man has to do, not because of the results.

Thus I would like to officially announce my one man anti war strike. I
shall not publish the results of the work done with Zoran Knezevic,
and the results already obtained shall not be made available to other
scientists, until he has the possibility to visit me to write the
paper. Other scientists can do the work in our place; some may salute
with some relief the end of a monopoly on the production of proper
elements which has lasted even too long. But I hope some will
understand that I have good reasons to do what I am doing.

Sincerely yours

Andrea Milani
Dipartimento di Matematica
Via Buonarroti 2
56127 PISA ITALY

tel. +39-050-844254 fax +39-050-844224
E-mail: milani@dm.unipi.it
WWW: http://virmap.unipi.it/~milani/homemilani.html

===================
SUPPRESSION OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN SERBIA

From HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (Worldreport 1999)
http://www.hrw.org/hrw/worldreport99/special/index.html

Academics in dozens of countries in 1998 were harassed, censored,
dismissed, beaten, or imprisoned for peacefully expressing their ideas.
Although governments increasingly recognized the importance of
universities in promoting technological and economic progress, many
continued to take aggressive measures to restrict the scope of
expression and inquiry on campus. Respect for academic freedom and the
basic civil and political rights of academics thus continued to be a
sensitive barometer of free expression worldwide.

International human rights standards offer academics a principled basis
for resisting authoritarian political pressures and defending the
institutional autonomy necessary for academic excellence. Freedom of
expression, defined in international treaties as "freedom to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of
frontiers," is a precondition of academic freedom. A university fulfills
its mission when academics are not forced to support an official line,
an economic agenda, or a political ideology, but rather are free to use
their talents to advance human knowledge and understanding. Although
international attention to the right to free expression understandably
has emphasized artistic freedom and freedom of the press, essential
attributes of an open, democratic society, institutions of higher
education have played a critical role in preserving and giving meaning
to the right. Abuses tracked by Human Rights Watch in 1998 illustrated
the often fragile status of the right to free expression on university
campuses. Academics were most often targeted when they publicly
criticized government authorities, were active in opposition movements
or citizens groups, or investigated subjects deemed "politically
sensitive" by the authorities. Reprisals against such professors,
researchers, and students included harassment, censorship, arbitrary
dismissal and expulsion, and, in the worst cases, imprisonment and
torture. Although such reprisals most obviously violated the civil and
political rights of the academics concerned, they also directly
undermined academic freedom. Academics do not exist in a social or
political vacuum, and participation in public affairs and contributions
to public debate are important aspects of the academic mission.

The most dramatic campus developments took place in Serbia, where
universities were subjected to de facto takeover by the ruling parties,
and in Indonesia, where students and faculty, defying decades-old
restrictions on the campus community, emerged at the forefront of a
nationwide movement for political reform. Developments in Belarus,
Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan
further demonstrated the range and continued prevalence of government
efforts to rein in critical inquiry and expression by academics in 1998.

Serbia

On May 26, 1998, under pressure from Yugoslav President Milosevic, the
Serbian parliament passed a law that deprived faculty members throughout
Serbia of their longstanding right to participate in the selection of
rectors, faculty deans, and governing boards, and that effectively
canceled-subject to renegotiation-the contracts of all professors and
other teaching staff. Because the assault on the universities coincided
with a crackdown on the independent media, coalitions of faculty that
formed to protest the law had difficulty getting their message to the
Serbian public. Demonstrations opposing the new law were violently
suppressed. As the conflict in Kosovo intensified and Serbian
nationalist rhetoric grew more strident, the pressures on critics of the
new university law mounted.

The most dramatic changes under the new law took place at the University
of Belgrade, which had long been a center of student protest and
continued to be home to a number of prominent faculty critics of the
government. At least sixteen faculty deans there were replaced shortly
after the law took effect. Twelve were forcibly removed and four
resigned in protest. Fifteen of the sixteen newly appointed deans were
members of the ruling parties. None of the replaced deans were members
of political parties.

At least thirteen influential politicians in Serbia's ruling
coalition-comprised of Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the
Yugoslav Left (JUL, a party led by Mira Markovic, Milosevic's wife), and
the Serbian Radical Party (SRS, led by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and
ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj)-were named to the governing and
supervisory boards of the University of Belgrade and its component
faculties. Another high-ranking member of JUL, Jagos Puric, was
appointed rector.

The first professor to be fired under the new law was Dr. Vladimir
Vodinelic, a law professor and one of Yugoslavia's leading civil law
theorists and one of sixteen professors in the Faculty of Law who had
signed a declaration opposing the new law. Two weeks later, twelve law
professors who had protested Vodinelic's firing were suspended. In the
Faculty of Philology, the new dean, Radmilo Marojevic (a member of the
SRS), declared that his faculty was not doing "useful work," announced
his intention to close the World Literature Department, and moved to
transfer thirty academics who had refused to sign new contracts to lower
paying positions. Professors in other faculties, including philosophy
and electrical engineering, also came under assault from the politically
appointed deans.

One of the stated aims of the drafters of the law was the
"depoliticization" of the universities. At the time the new law was
enacted, officials emphasized that higher education in Serbia had become
inefficient because faculty were spending too much of their time
engaging in opposition political activities. A more ominous rationale
for the new law was articulated by new philology dean Marojevic: "Sadly,
our country and our culture are somehow under occupation from within. We
have a fifth column in scholarship, in culture, everywhere." Marojevic
praised the law as a "good attempt to return to Serbian character, [to
bring] a national, cultural,and authentic character to this university."

Academic excellence requires that decisions affecting teaching,
scholarship, and research be made on the basis of academic merit, not
political favoritism or ideological litmus tests. The danger of the new
law was that such decisions were put into the hands of
government-appointed officials, with no participation by independent
faculty members. The new law removed existing safeguards for academic
autonomy, opening the door to political meddling in academic affairs by
both present and future governments of Serbia. In principle, the
university should be an institution open to all on the basis of merit,
an important intellectual resource not only to governments and industry,
but also to individuals and interests independent of the state. The
University Act, however, appeared to be turning universities in Serbia
into institutions that exclusively served the interests of Serbian state
authorities.

Copyright 1999 Human Rights Watch



CCCMENU CCC for 1999

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