PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 51/2001 - 3 April 2001
----------------------------


(1) TAGISH LAKE METEORITE DATES BACK TO ORIGINS OF SOLAR SYSTEM
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(2) NEW OBSERVATIONS ELIMINATE COLLISION PROBABILITIES FOR ASTEROID 1998 OX4
    Spaceguard Central Node

(3) SOHO RECORDS A GIANT FLARE ON THE SUN
    European Space Agency, 3 April 2001 <sciweb@estec.esa.nl>

(4) TUNGUSKA AS AN ANTI-MATTER OR MINI-BLACK HOLE
    Duncan Steel <D.I.Steel@salford.ac.uk>

(5) NEO TELESCOPES ARE NO INSURANCE BUT CAN REDUCE RISK
    Oliver Morton <abq72@pop.dial.pipex.com>

(6) WHO OWNS EROS?
    Gregory Nemitz <gnemitz@orbdev.com>

(7) SANDIA PAPER ON IMPACTS AND FLOOD BASALTS
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(8) OCKHAM'S RAZOR
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(9) FLAT EARTH
    Henry Zee <hzee@nyc.rr.com
 
(10) FRAGMENTS FROM THE SKY
     Colin Keay <myrcol@hunterlink.net.au>

(11) EFFECTIVE STABILITY OF THE TROJAN ASTEROIDS
     Skokos C, Dokoumetzidis A

(12) MULTIPLE CAUSES & COINCIDENCES IN THE GEOLOGICAL RECORD
     Tsujita CJ

===========
(1) TAGISH LAKE METEORITE DATES BACK TO ORIGINS OF SOLAR SYSTEM

From Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/010402/5019000.html

Yukon meteorite dates back to origins of the solar system

Tom Spears

The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

April 2, 2001

The 200-tonne meteor that blew up over the Yukon last year is turning out to
be older than any other known meteorite, older than our planet, probably the
oldest matter ever to come to Earth.

Chunks of space rock pulled from a lake on the Yukon-British Columbia border
probably formed as other planets did, condensing from the giant cloud of gas
that swirled around our sun as it first came into existence.

The clumps of grey-black matter may also be the oldest meteorite ever
discovered, older than Earth, and therefore our best look at the raw
materials from which our solar system was built.

Full story here:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/national/010402/5019000.html

=========
(2) NEW OBSERVATIONS ELIMINATE COLLISION PROBABILITIES FOR ASTEROID 1998 OX4

From Spaceguard Central Node

http://spaceguard.ias.rm.cnr.it/SSystem/NEOCS/1998ox4.html

1998 OX4: no impact in 2012, 2014, 2017, 2022 and 2023

At the end of January 2001, following an excellent visibility opportunity,
some of the virtual impactors of 1998 OX4, currently the biggest known NEA
with remote collision probabilities, were removed. This is the result of a
dedicated observing campaign and of general data analysis from two NEO
survey programs, conducted by the Spaceguard Central Node.

These two observing efforts for virtual impactors, respectively denominated
2014 VI- 1998 OX4 and 2012-2014-2017-2022-2023 VIs, led to the conclusion
that 1998 OX4 is not going to impact the Earth on either of the following
years: 2012, 2014, 2017, 2022 and 2023.

========
(3) SOHO RECORDS A GIANT FLARE ON THE SUN

From European Space Agency, 3 April 2001 <sciweb@estec.esa.nl>

Last night at 23:51 Central European Time (21:51 UT, 2 April) the Sun
unleashed a major solar flare near its northwestern (upper right-hand) side
and the event was well observed by the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft. It was
classified as an X17 flare, probably the strongest flare since 16

August 1989 when an X20 flare occurred. It was slightly more powerful than
the famous 6 March 1989 flare which was related to the disruption of the
power grids in Canada. The latest event hurled a coronal mass ejection into
space - but apparently not towards the Earth, so the impacts will probably
be less severe.

More at: http://sci.esa.int/content/news/index.cfm?aid=1&cid=1&oid=26703

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

(4) TUNGUSKA AS AN ANTI-MATTER OR MINI-BLACK HOLE

From Duncan Steel <D.I.Steel@salford.ac.uk>

Dear Benny,

I seem to recall that amongst the recent postings was one concerning the
possibility that the Tunguska object was actually a small mass of
anti-matter. Thus I point out the following paper to readers:

Cowan C., Atluri C.R., Libby W.F. Possible anti-matter content of the
Tunguska meteor of 1908. Nature, 1965, v.206, N4987, p.861-865.

There was also a paper in Nature in 1973 in which it was suggested that
Tunguska was caused by a mini-black hole. Al Jackson just reminded me of the
above; he was one of the authors of the 1973 paper.

Duncan Steel

=======
(5) NEO TELESCOPES ARE NO INSURANCE BUT CAN REDUCE RISK

From Oliver Morton <abq72@pop.dial.pipex.com>

At 10:47 am +0100 28/3/01, Andy Smith <astrosafe@yahoo.com> wrote:

DARK MATTER TELESCOPE (DMT)
>One of these [an LSST-style survey telescope] would be like buying
>an asteroid/comet impact insurance policy for the human race. We
>would be buying about 300 years of impact protection for about $100
>million or so and finding RAMA and friends, in a decade rather than
>3 centuries.

Regardless of the merits of the case, it doesn't sound like an isurance
policy to me. Surely investments like this should be seen as (and sold as)
exercises in risk reduction, rather than in insurance. The LSST reduces the
risk of being hit by an undiscovered NEO by a certain
factor.

What it doesn't do is pay us back if we get hit, (which is what most people
understand by insurance) or stop us getting hit (which is what seems to be
implied). To stop us getting hit, LSST has to find something and we then
have to push it off course, which takes a lot more than $100m.

In short, such investments cannot buy safety *if there is a currently
unrecognised impact danger*. They can buy the piece of mind that comes from
knowing that the chances of such danger are smaller than they used to be.

best, o

=============
(6) WHO OWNS EROS?

From Gregory Nemitz <gnemitz@orbdev.com>

Dear Dr. Peiser,

Thank you for continuing to publish the discussion between Mr. Nimmo and
myself on Cambridge Conference Net. Mr. Nimmo raises some interesting points
that are common misconceptions of the present state of the law as it relates
to un-owned things.

When an un-owned thing is claimed, it belongs to the claimant. This has been
true since before the beginning of any civilization. Precedent is the very
heart of Law, regardless of what country is involved. To say that precedents
are irrelevant simply because there are diverse international considerations
is disingenuous.

The resources in space are un-owned, unless they have been claimed. Mr.
Nimmo has asserted that the Moon Treaty of 1979 and the Outer Space Treaty
of 1967 has rightfully claimed all the resources in the Solar System and the
Universe, for those parties that have signed those Treaties.

There is some question as to the encompassing validity of both Treaties'
prohibition of appropriation for non-signatories. The Treaties claim to have
a legal right to deny the establishment of claims. These can be viewed as
claims for the entire Universe, and are claims made by some governments to
prevent other governments, from making claims. These are circular

arguments, and as such may be considered invalid by any individuals and
countries that have not signed the Treaty. I did not sign the Outer Space
Treaty of 1967, or the Moon Treaty of 1979. In either treaty, no mention is
made of claims by an individual.

Mr. Nimmo's letter includes an assumption that: "If Orbital Development or
its principals are U.S. nationals, this treaty provision would seem to
preclude any claim to own Eros."

Since the treaty does not pertain to individual claims, I believe that it is
an invalid postulate that a national appropriation, as described in the
treaty, is inherent to an individual claim, especially a claim that
specifically excludes such a connection.

My claim's full intention is presented here for consideration:

Complete Control in "fee simple" or "outright ownership, free & clear"
specifically not instituted on behalf of any Nation and regard it as real
personal property owned by Gregory W. Nemitz, a Natural Person.

Mr. Nimmo's letter cites the Article II of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967,
to which the United States is a party, which states: "Outer space, including
the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national
appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by
any other means." 610 U.N.T.S. 205, 18 U.S.T. 2410.

A Natural Person appropriated the claim for 433 Eros, myself. The claim was
specifically not instituted on behalf of any nation. His citation above does
not address this situation of personal claims by appropriation; it solely
addresses national appropriations.


As an rebuttal to his conjecture on one point, a point which many others
seem to indulge in faulty logic, I will cite the Moon Treaty, which Mr.
Nimmo has so kindly provided:

"Article 1

1. The provisions of this Agreement relating to the moon shall also apply to
other celestial bodies within the solar system, other than the earth, except
in so far as specific legal norms enter into force with respect to any of
these celestial bodies.

Specific legal norms do exist that allow the individual appropriation of
un-owned things. A claim by a natural person, that person's pursuit of
ownership of the thing, and the infusion of work-equity into the thing, are
all are specific legal norms for the recognition of property rights. By the
Moon Treaty, my claim for 433 Eros can be acknowledged as valid, through
exclusion by exception in the very first paragraph of the Treaty.

I can agree with Mr. Nimmo's final statement, "What we need to do is to get
both the Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Treaty replaced by a new and more
sensible one that we can all agree on."

I hope that my own efforts in establishing recognition for my property right
to 433 Eros will be an instigation to the governments and they will then
address this very serious shortcoming in present Space Law. It seems that
almost everyone, who is concerned with this issue today, agrees of the need
to change these Treaties. However, delay of recognition of my rights to 433
Eros until a new regime is agreed upon would be an unethical delay of
justice by the government.

Mr. Nimmo implies that what I have done by making my claim, is somehow
unethical. I have made a rightful claim. I am engaged in a pursuit to
perfect that claim. I have infused my work-equity and the work of others
into the claim. In addition, I have personally appropriated the work-equity
of the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft into my claim, which was a work-equity that
was abandoned by the US government and NASA, and thus was available for
appropriation.

Since no higher right to the property can be brought forward without an
extremely expensive project to recover materials and/or take physical
possession, the full equity of 433 Eros, which is included in my rightful
claims, should be recognized by the governments as vested in my claim.

With such recognition in place, I will continue the pursuit of perfecting my
current property rights by mounting a manned mission to 433 Eros, which will
take physical possession of the asteroid and begin its development.

The recognition will set an excellent precedent for future private projects
in space. It will concretely demonstrate that at some point along the way to
perfecting the property right, the equity of the property is recognized as
owned by the party with the highest existing right, during the pursuit of
perfecting the claim.

I have claimed no thing that is outside of realm of Law when examined by the
standard of a "Reasonable Man".

Best Regards,

Gregory Nemitz
Orbital Development
Eros Project
Ad Astra via Eros
http://www.orbdev.com/erosproj.html

=========
(7) SANDIA PAPER ON IMPACTS AND FLOOD BASALTS

From Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

Dear Benny,

Mark Boslough from Sandia National Labs has sent me a paper copy of his
paper 'Axial focusing of impact energy in the Earth's interior: a possible
link to flood basalts and hotspots' published by Geological Society of
America in Special Paper 307, 1996 'The Cretacaceous Tertiary event and
other catastrophes in the Earth's history' ed Ryder and others.

The paper has an excellent illustration of seismic waves focussing at the
antipodal point to the Chicxulub impact (between Australia and Africa).
Recall I raised this effect in my space.com article at
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/asteroid_paine_october.html
except the arrival time of the seismic waves is about 1 hour instead of 3.

Mark and coauthors argue that "An economy of assumptions (Occam's Razor)
would suggest that all episodes of flood basalt volcanism have the same
cause. This logically must lead to the prediction of impact structures in
coaxial association (either antipodal or collocated) with all
hotspots and flood basalt provinces at the time of their formation".

No doubt many geologists would challenge this assumption but it is
recommended reading!

regards
Michael Paine

========
(8) OCKHAM'S RAZOR

From Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

Dear Benny (bugs fixed)

Ockham's razor has been mentioned a few times recently. Here is the
Britannica entry:

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=58133&tocid=0

..also spelled Occam's razor, also called law of economy, or law of
parsimony, principle stated by William of Ockham (1285-1347/49), a
scholastic, that Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate; "Plurality
should not be posited without necessity." The principle gives precedence to
simplicity; of two competing theories, the simplest explanation of an entity
is to be preferred. The principle is also expressed "Entities are not to be
multiplied beyond necessity."

The principle was, in fact, invoked before Ockham by Durand de
Saint-Pourçain, a French Dominican theologian and philosopher of dubious
orthodoxy, who used it to explain that abstraction is the apprehension of
some real entity, such as an Aristotelian cognitive species, an active
intellect, or a disposition, all of which he spurned as unnecessary.
Likewise, in science, Nicole d'Oresme, a 14th-century French physicist,
invoked the law of economy, as did Galileo later, in defending the simplest
hypothesis of the heavens. Other later scientists stated similar simplifying
laws and principles.

Ockham, however, mentioned the principle so frequently and employed it so
sharply that it was called "Ockham's razor." He used it, for instance, to
dispense with relations, which he held to be nothing distinct from their
foundation in things; with efficient causality, which he tended to view
merely as regular succession; with motion, which is merely the reappearance
of a thing in a different place; with psychological powers distinct for each
mode of sense; and with the presence of ideas in the mind of the Creator,
which are merely the creatures themselves.

regards

Michael Paine

=============
(9) FLAT EARTH
 
From: Henry Zee <hzee@nyc.rr.com
 
Dear Dr. Peiser,

Jon Giorgini's essay, "Modern Origins of Flat Earth Theory" seems to have
missed the relevant section of St. Augustine's City of God. In the chapter
"Whether we are to believe in the Antipodes" (Book XVI, Chap. 9, Modern
Library p.532) St. Augustine writes "... the fable that there are
Antipodes... where the sun rises when it sets to us... is on no grounds
credible."

St. Augustine disparages the existence of Antipodes since the theory has not
"been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the
ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that
it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other."

St. Augustine clearly states where true knowledge is found. "For Scripture,
which proves the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of
its prophecies, gives no false information; and it is too absurd to say that
some men might have taken ship and traversed the wholewide ocean, and
crossed from this side of the world to the other..."

Mr. Giorgini  notes "St. Augustine (400's) observed the Bible gives no
description on the shape of the earth," but he misconstrues St. Augustine's
intention. Since the Bible does not inform us that the Earth is spherical,
St. Augustine argues the Earth cannot be a sphere.

St. Augustine does not state here that the Earth is flat. Still, St.
Augustine's hierarchy of authority should not be overlooked. Even in the
physical realm, St. Augustine contends the Scriptures are superior to
science. Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th and 19th century were not far
off the mark in stigmatizing Scripture-based scientists as "flat-earthers."

Henry R. Stone

=============
(10) FRAGMENTS FROM THE SKY

From Colin Keay <myrcol@hunterlink.net.au>

Hello Benny:

One mystery solved.

Today I travelled to Glen Oak, 50k north of Newcastle, where the jet-black
fragment described in my last communication landed.

There was the chimney of a slow combustion heater nearby. I took off the
hood and found some crustaceous material identical to the sample I had been
given. I was told that the stove was fueled by ironbark hardwood from
surrounding forests, so I presume the volatiles given off must have bonded
the smoke particles  together to form the very low density material.
   
The noise on the thin iron roof must have been a few heavy drops of rain. As
for the light seen just prior to the sounds it's anybody's guess. The time
of fall coinciding with passage under the orbital plane of Mir was purely
coincidental.

So sorry about the false alarm. I wish all of our  solutions were as
unequivocal.

    Cheers
        Colin Keay

============
(11) EFFECTIVE STABILITY OF THE TROJAN ASTEROIDS

Skokos C, Dokoumetzidis A: Effective stability of the Trojan asteroids
ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS 367: (2) 729-736 FEB 2001

We study the spatial circular restricted problem of three bodies in the
light of Nekhoroshev theory of stability over large time intervals. We
consider in particular the Sun-Jupiter model and the Trojan asteroids in the
neighborhood of the Lagrangian point Lq. We find a region of effective
stability around the point Lq such that if the initial point of an orbit is
inside this region the orbit is confined in a slightly larger neighborhood
of the equilibrium (in phase space) for a very long time interval. By
combining analytical methods and numerical approximations we are able to
prove that stability over the age of the universe is guaranteed on a
realistic legion, big enough to include one real asteroid. By comparing this
result with the one obtained for the planar problem we see that the regions
of stability in the two cases are of the same magnitude.

Addresses:
Skokos C, Acad Athens, Res Ctr Astron, 14 Anagnostopoulou Str, Athens 10673,
Greece.
Acad Athens, Res Ctr Astron, Athens 10673, Greece.
Univ Athens, Sch Pharm, Athens 15771, Greece.

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

===============
(12) MULTIPLE CAUSES & COINCIDENCES IN THE GEOLOGICAL RECORD

Tsujita CJ: The significance of multiple causes and coincidence in the
geological record: from clam clusters to Cretaceous catastrophe.
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES 38: (2) 271-292 FEB 2001

Specific causes of unusual events recorded in the geological record are
commonly difficult to distinguish and isolate; in some instances, event
strata contain features that cannot be explained by a single causal
mechanism. Unicausal hypotheses, when applied to complex problems, can lead
to the misidentification, misinterpretation, and force-fitting of
observations ("great expectations syndrome"). The close timing or temporal
overlap of significant events, although statistically improbable on short
time scales, becomes possible on long time scales. Event coincidence may
occur on a wide range of scales, from local to global. On the local scale, a
multiple-event interpretation is offered for both the concentration and
clustering of bivalves at specific levels within the Upper Cretaceous
Bearpaw Formation of southern Alberta. For this example, the relative timing
of fluctuations in benthic substrate texture, oxygen concentration,
abundance of planktotrophic larvae, and degree of sea-floor scouring was
crucial to the formation and preservation of shell concentrations. On the
sharply contrasted global scale, the implications of multiple events warrant
much closer consideration than they have received hitherto in terms of major
proposed causes for the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) mass-extinction event:
bolide impact, sea-level change, climatic change, and flood-basalt
volcanism. By considering the predictable effects of these synchronous
factors, both individually and in combination, a multiple-cause explanation
of the K-T mass extinction emerges as entirely plausible. Certainly it needs
to be considered in all future investigations of this important issue.

Addresses:
Tsujita CJ, Univ Western Ontario, Dept Earth Sci, London, ON N6A 5B7,
Canada.
Univ Western Ontario, Dept Earth Sci, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada.

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

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