PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 8 April 1999
--------------------------


(1) AT LONG LAST, MY WIFE BELIEVES ME THAT I'VE GOT A HEAVENLY BODY
    Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>

(2) MICRO-METEOROID & ORBITAL DEBRIS IMPACTS ON THE HUBBLE SPACE
    TELESCOPE
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(3) THE LITTLE ICE AGE & INCREASED METEORIC ACTIVITY: 1500-1750 CE
    Tae-jin Yi <tjyi@plaza.snu.ac.kr>

(4) UNUSUAL CELESTIAL EVENTS AND UFO MANIA
    Luigi Foschini <L.Foschini@isao.bo.cnr.it>

(5) ANTARCTIC ICE SHELVES BREAKING UP DUE TO DECADES OF
    HIGHER TEMPERATURES
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro..utoronto.ca>

(6) MARTIAN VOLATILE EVOLUTION, CLIMATE CHANGE & EXOBIOLOGICAL
    IMPLICATIONS
    B.M. Jakosky, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

(7) A SIMPLE CHONDRITIC MODEL OF MARS
    C. Sanloup et al., ECOLE NORMALE SUPER LYON

(8) TRACE ELEMENT MICROANALYSIS IN IRON METEORITES
    A.J. Campbell et al., UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

===============
(1) AT LONG LAST, MY WIFE BELIEVES ME THAT I'VE GOT A HEAVENLY BODY

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

Many thanks to all well-wishers who have congratulated me regarding
Minor Planet (7107) Peiser. (I've attached just two of the messages by
two special friends). More importantly, though - my wife, at long last,
now believes that I've got a heavenly body.....

Benny
----------------

From Sir Arthur Clarke

Dear Benny,

    Congratulations! Now we're both absentee landlords beyond the
orbit of Mars.
   (The IAU apologised to me because 2001 wasn't available - it had
been allocated to someone called A. Einstein.

           All best,

            Arthur   7 Apr 99
----------------------

From David H. Levy <dhlevy@LPL.Arizona.EDU>

Congratulations Benny! How does it feel to have a piece of celestial
real estate?

All the best
David

=======================
(2) MICRO-METEOROID & ORBITAL DEBRIS IMPACTS ON THE HUBBLE SPACE
    TELESCOPE

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

[From October-December 1998 issue (Vol. 3 Issue 4) of ORBITAL DEBRIS
QUARTERLY NEWS.  Images supporting this article are available at
http://sn-callisto.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/v3i4/v3i4.html#news1 .]

Imagery Survey of the Hubble Space Telescope

During the second servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
by the STS-82 mission in February, 1997, an extensive imagery survey
was performed covering approximately 97% of the HST surface. The
results of a dedicated study to identify and to characterize apparent
micrometeoroid and orbital debris (M/OD) impacts have been recently
documented in a new NASA JSC report, "Survey of the Hubble Space
Telescope Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Impacts from Service
Mission 2 Imagery," by G.J. Byrne, D.R. Bretz, M.H. Holly, M.T. Gaunce,
and C.A. Sapp.

Employing video, photography, and electronic still imagery (a total of
2500 still frames and 17 hours of video), the analysis team was able to
identify 788 potential impacts on the HST aft shroud, equipment
section, aft bulkhead, grapple fixtures, aperture door, and solar
arrays. The analysis process involved first screening and categorizing
the images, then imagery review and M/OD impact identification,
followed by mapping and measurements of the impact features.

Over 500 of the impacts were found on the aft shroud and equipment
section where highly reflective surfaces facilitated detection of
impact features. Approximately 80% of the impact zones measured less
than 0.8 cm, although the largest was 4.7 cm in diameter.

A plot of the number of impacts of a given outer diameter size range
illustrates the expected exponential increase down to a size of 0.4 -
0.5 cm, where sensitivity limits of the imagery apparently lead to a
reduced count. The distribution of impacts around the aft shroud
suggest a real difference in the number of particle impacts on the +V3
and the -V3 sides.

An attempt was also made to compare the number of impacts seen on the
first servicing mission in December 1993 (after 44 months exposure in
LEO) and the second servicing mission (after an additional 38 months
exposure in LEO). A limited comparison of the +V3 quadrant showed an
increase in the density of observed strikes from approximately 5
impacts per square meter to approximately 20 impacts per square meter.
While some of this increase is undoubtedly due to the superior quality
of the imagery obtained during the second servicing mission, a change
in the environment may also be indicated.

The next servicing mission to HST is scheduled for May, 2000, and an
additional imagery survey is planned.

=================
(3) THE LITTLE ICE AGE & INCREASED METEORIC ACTIVITY: 1500-1750 CE

From Tae-jin Yi <tjyi@plaza.snu.ac.kr>

Dear Benny,

I would like to introduce to you my research results of meteor fallings
and other natural phenomena between c.1500-1750, gathered from the
"Annals of the Choson Dynasty Korea" (Choson wangjo sillok in Korean).
My results have already been published in "Celestial Mechanics and
Dynamical Astronomy" 69 (1998) and are available at
http://plaza.snu.ac.kr/~tjyi.

I am a historian whose research on the "17th-Century Crisis" theory has
led me into the realm of the natural sciences. After I came across that
theory in the works of Western scholars, I felt that the Annals could
also be a valuable source of materials. The scribes who compiled the
Annals were faithful and meticulous in recording all natural and
'supernatural' phenomena, in accordance with the distinctive Confucian
view of nature.

I examined 471 years' worth of records in the Annals (1392-1863). Based
on these records, I have concluded that the Little Ice Age began as
early as the end of 15th century and lasted until the middle of the
18th century. Futhermore, the data suggests that the cause of the
Little Ice Age might be linked to the abnormally high number of meteors
which fell over an extended period of time. The total volume of the
records documenting 471 years of 25 monarchs comprise 1,893
volumes--888 books in all.

I examined the distribution of the records of abnormal phenomena,
divided roughly into 50 year periods.(period 1: 1392-1450, p 2:
1451-1500, p 3: 1501-1550, --- p 9: 1801-1863) Through this examination
I discovered that the records of unusual phenomena were concentrated
from period 3 to 7, or the period from 1501-1750. This 250 year period
comprises 62% of the total period examined, yet it accounts for 80 % of
the recorded phenomena.

The most common phenomena between 1500-1750 include:

(1) meteor appearances and fallings (2) colored vapors in the sky (3)
the daytime apearances of Venus (4) halos around the sun or moon  (5)
thunder and lightning (6) hail (7) violent windstorms (8) frost (9)
unseasonal snow (10) sudden darkness during the day (11) dust storms
(12) fog or fog-like clouds (13) changes in the sun or moon (14)
colored snow or rain, and (15) earthquakes.

(1) The records of the appearances and fallings of meteors, especially
during the period in question, include descriptions of the meteor's
size and shape, the length of its tail, and its color, its radiance and
loudness. Only meteors which were thought to be usually large and
bright were recorded. Out of a total  3,431 recorded instances or 97%
were observed in periods 3 through 7 just in Seoul, which means that
the total number of meteors which entered the atmosphere throughtout
the world must have been enormous.

(2) Among the recorded phenomena, the ones which would appear to be
most closely related to meteor fallings would be the colored vapors in
the sky. Altogether, there were 1,052 records of colored vapors, which
were described as white vapors, black -, red -, fire-, and bright
lightning flahses. Of the 1,052 records, 94% or 991 records occured
from the periods in question. Based on the pictures of the Pasamonte
meteorite on March 24, 1933, I have concluded that the colored vapors
in the records can be interpreted as being signs of a metor passage.

(3) There are 4,887 instances of Venus appearing during the daytime
recorded in the Annals. Of these, 3,941 or 87 % of them took place
during periods 3 - 7. The frequent appearance of Venus during the
daytime can be quite possibly attributed to the rays of sun were
partially blocked by meteor dust in the atmosphere.

(4) Halos around the sun and the moon appeared at a similar frequency
to the daytime appearance of Venus. Out of a total 5,629 recorded
instances (4,487 solar -, 1,142 lunar -), 4,739 or 84% were sighted in
periods 3-7. Most of the records on halos in periods 1,2,8, and 9 have
simple description; the sun (or moon) had a halo. In contrast, the
majority of the records from 3-7 have more detailed description of the
color, of two rings appearing on the sides, of certain shapes appearing
on the top or the bottom, and of a pale rainbow wrapping itself around
the sun. It appears that the atmospheric anomalies such as the presence
of so much meteor dust led to the formation of these strange halos.

(5)(6) Altogether there were 2,370 records of thunder and lightning, 74
% of which, or 1,746  cases, took place during the periods in question.
Records of hail storms amounted to 2,006 incidents, with 81 % or 1,622
happening during the crucial periods. Thunder/linghtning were spread
out over all the months, occuring most frequently from the eighth month
to the twelfth month (by the lunar calendar) of the year. The fact that
thunder/lightning, and hail occured so frequently out of season
suggests that the underlying reasons behind these phenomena were not
seasonal-related. There were also many records of thunder/lightning and
hail simultaneouly.

(7)(8)(9) There are many instances recorded in the Annals of violent
windsorms occuring with thunder/lighting mixed with hail or rain during
the period in question. The monthly distribution of the storms recorded
indicates that these were not ordinary seasonal typhoons. The numerous
records of frost and unseasonal snow which also occured during this
period help attest to the overal temperature drop related to the meteor
fallings. Unseasonal snow fell frequently, not only in the 3rd, 4th and
9th lunar months, but even during the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th lunar
months.

(10)-(14) There were many instances recorded where dust fell almost
unendingly, or the land became dark everywhere, or a "fog-like element"
covered the land. Related phenomena include the sun or the moon losing
their light and turning red or dark, or the illusory effect of two or
three suns or even the sun appearing to shake in the sky. Since it has
been confirmed that a large number of meteor appeared and fell during
this period, the reasons behind these phenomena are not difficult to
determine. The dust resulting from meteors would have accumulated,
covering the area like a fog, even to the point of approaching
darkness. The light of the sun and the moon would have been blocked by
this veil of dust, which would have caused them to appear red. The sun
appearing in double or triple, or the sun 'shaking' are phenomena both
of which would have been caused by the refraction of the sun's rays
caused by dust. The black rain, the "grain-seed" rain or "pineflower
dust" rain, or the red/yellow/black snow described in the records would
have been caused by the meteor dust being mixed with the rain or snow.

(15) An extremely large number of earthquakes took place during periods
3-7. Of the total 1,500 recorded instances, 1,225 or 81% took place
during this critical period. This means that over the 250 year period,
an average of six earthquakes took place every year. Todays,
earthquakes occur so infrequently in Korea that it is considered to be
an earthquake-safe area by modern standards. It would be difficult to
explain such frequent repetition of earthquakes simply through the
movement of the earth's tectonic plates. Many of the records of
earthquakes and thunder found in the Annals are not ordinary
earthquakes and thunder, but rather shock waves and explosive sounds
caused by meteor fallings being mistaken as such.

The Little Ica Age was accompanied by drought, floods, plague, famine,
pestilence and other calamities. Discussion of these disasters and the
political, social, and economic repercussions they brought about has
been initiated by historians of the 17th-century crisis school, but a
more rigorous and detailed analysis of the records in the Annals has
great potential in stimulating further discussion and understanding.
The Little Ice Age phenomena must be considered as one of the major
natural catastrophes most likely caused by increased meteoric activity
along with the natural catastrophes which occurred during the Bronze
Age civilization, discussed at Cambridge in 1997.

The material in the Annals include detailed observations of comets, and
other unusual astronomical phenomena(examples: "Arrow-like tails
appeared on the stars of the Big Dipper and many stars around it"
09/06/1525, "The stars shook and switched positions" 28/09/1602, "The
stars were all shaking" 05/23/1643), which I feel could be excellent
material for expert's analysis. I think the records from Annals should
be translated into English for scientists so that they may be used to
further their understanding of the earth's environment and of
historical impact events. I believe it is the only written material
which informs us of all the different types of phenomena during the
Littel Ice Age catastrophe and related meteor fallings. I am looking
for critical assessment of these documents and research support.

Tae-jin Yi
College of Humanities
Seoul National University
e-mail: tjyi@plaza.snu.ac.kr

==================
(4) UNUSUAL CELESTIAL EVENTS AND UFO MANIA

From Luigi Foschini <L.Foschini@isao.bo.cnr.it>

Dear Benny,

I have read the CCNet ESSAY of April 7th about UFOs and meteors, posted
by Bob Kobres.

I remember that, quite recently, something curious happened in Italy.
On February 23rd, 1999, there was the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter.
The weather in Italy at the time was very good, with a extremely clear
atmosphere. Therfore, the two planets appeared as two bright stars. It
happened that a lot of people were terrified by this: they believe that
the two planets were UFOs. People called the police, and other public
services, and the next day newspapers carried articles on UFO
sightings. One newspaper gave this "scientific" explanation: the two
bright planets were an artificial satellite split by the atmospheric
refraction (sic!).

The article posted by Bob Kobres states:

> If a similar event were to occur today it might cause some
> observers who had seen the Independence Day movie to panic,
> fearing it was a UFO/ET invasion.

Yes, indeed. It's dramatically true, and not only for meteors.

Greetings,

Luigi

=================
(5) ANTARCTIC ICE SHELVES BREAKING UP DUE TO DECADES OF
    HIGHER TEMPERATURES

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

Office of Public Relations
University of Colorado-Boulder
354 Willard Administrative Center
Campus Box 9
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0009
(303) 492-6431

Contact:
Ted Scambos, 303-492-1113
David Vaughn, 011-44-1223-221-481
Jim Scott, 303-492-3114

April 7, 1999

ANTARCTIC ICE SHELVES BREAKING UP DUE TO DECADES OF HIGHER TEMPERATURES

Two ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula known as the Larsen B and
Wilkins are in "full retreat" and have lost nearly 3,000 square
kilometers of their total area in the last year, say scientists in
Colorado and the United Kingdom.

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow
and Ice Data Center and the British Antarctic Survey attribute the
retreats to a regional warming trend. The trend has caused the annual
melt season to increase by 12 days to a total of 20 days over the last
20 years, they said.

Satellite photos monitored by NSIDC show that the Larsen B ice shelf
has continued to crumble after an initial small retreat in spring 1998.
In a series of events that began in November 1998, an additional 1,714
square kilometers of shelf area caved away, said Research Associate Ted
Scambos of CU-Boulder's NSIDC.

On the opposite side of the peninsula, the Wilkins Ice Shelf retreated
nearly 1,100 square kilometers in early March of last year, said
Scambos. Scientists looking at weather satellite imagery at that time
suspected a breakup was underway and had their suspicions confirmed by
radar satellite images..

"The radar images showed a large area of completely shattered ice,
indicating an ice front 35 kilometers back from its previous extent,"
said Scambos. "The sudden appearance of thousands of small icebergs
suggests that the shelves are essentially broken up in place and then
flushed out by storms or currents afterward."

The British Antarctic Survey scientists had predicted one of these
retreats, using computer models to demonstrate that the Larsen B was
nearing its stability limit. With the small breakup observed last
spring, the shelf had already retreated too far to continue to be
supported by adjacent islands and shorelines.

Scientists at both institutes expected the two shelves to fail soon,
but the current disintegration is occurring at an even faster rate than
earlier breakups gave reason to anticipate.

"We have evidence that the shelves in this area have been in retreat
for 50 years, but those losses amounted to only about 7,000 square
kilometers," said David Vaughan, a researcher with the Ice and Climate
Division of the British Antarctic Survey. "To have retreats totaling
3,000 square kilometers in a single year is clearly an escalation.
Within a few years, much of the Wilkins ice shelf will likely be gone."

Ice shelves are floating plates of ice that are still attached to
continents and which form when large glaciers flow toward the ocean in
polar areas. Where they are supported by islands and sheltering
coastline, they can become stable, long-term features, said Scambos.

Surface features on the Larsen B indicate that it has existed for at
least 400 years. But as climate inches toward an average summertime
temperature just above 0 degrees C -- the melting point of water -- the
Larsen and Wilkins ice shelves have begun to disintegrate.

The Larsen B ice shelf is currently about 7,000 square kilometers --
about the size of Delaware. The Wilkins ice shelf is nearly twice that
large, Scambos said.

The British researchers, who have monitored the peninsula's climate
warming for decades, report an increase in mean annual temperature of
about 2.5 degrees C or roughly 4.5 degrees F since the 1940's. Both
groups concur that ice shelf breakup is a direct result of local
climate warming.

According to Scambos, the recent warming trend has led to greater
amounts of ponding melt on the shelf, weakening it. "Melt water at the
surface acts to increase the extent of fracturing in the ice," he said.
"The weight of the water essentially forces the cracks open, so a
relatively small amount of climate warming can destroy a large,
centuries-old ice shelf."

The NSIDC is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences, a joint venture of CU-Boulder and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Images of the Larsen B and
Wilkins ice sheets are available at the following web sites:

* http://www-nsidc.colorado.edu/NSIDC/ICESHELVES/lars_wilk_news
* http://www.nerc.bas.ac.uk
* http://dude..uibc.ac.at/Projects/Larsen_Ice_Shelf

======================
(6) MARTIAN VOLATILE EVOLUTION, CLIMATE CHANGE & EXOBIOLOGICAL
    IMPLICATIONS

B.M. Jakosky: Martian stable isotopes: Volatile evolution, climate
change and exobiological implications. ORIGINS OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION OF
THE BIOSPHERE, 1999, Vol.29, No.1, pp.47-57

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO,ATMOSPHER & SPACE PHYS LAB,CAMPUS BOX
392,BOULDER,CO,80309

Measurements of the ratios of stable isotopes in the martian atmosphere
and crust provide fundamental information about the evolution of the
martian volatile and climate system. Current best estimates of the
isotope ratios indicate that there has been substantial loss of gases
to space and exchange of gases between the atmosphere and the crust
throughout geologic time; exchange may have occurred through
circulation of water in hydrothermal systems. Processes of volatile
evolution and exchange will fractionate the isotopes in a manner that
complicates the possible interpretation of isotopic data in terms of
any fractionation that may have been caused by martian biota, and must
be understood first. Key measurements are suggested that will enhance
our understanding of the non-biological fractionation of the isotopes
and of the evolution of the martian volatile system. Copyright 1999,
Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

=====================
(7) A SIMPLE CHONDRITIC MODEL OF MARS

C. Sanloup*), A. Jambon, P. Gillet: A simple chondritic model of Mars.
PHYSICS OF THE EARTH AND PLANETARY INTERIORS, 1999, Vol.112, No.1-2,
pp.43-54

*) ECOLE NORMALE SUPER LYON,LAB SCI TERRE,46 ALLEE ITALIE,F-69364
   LYON 07,FRANCE

SNC meteorites (Shergottites, Nakhlites and Chassigny) define a
fractionation line in a delta(17)O/delta(18)O diagram as expected for
rocks differentiated from a formerly homogenized parent body, which is
intermediate between H ordinary chondrites and EH enstatite chondrites.
The planet Mars is located between the Earth and the asteroid belts,
the potential source of ordinary chondrites. Since oxygen is a major
component of the terrestrial planets, our model assumes that Mars
composition is a mixture of two chondritic sources whose proportions
are calculated by mass balance based on oxygen isotopes only. Two
possible model compositions can be derived: if the average isotopic
composition of SNC is relaxed along its fractionation Line (Model 1)
and if the end members are average H and EH chondrites, one obtains a
30:70 H:EH mixture. If the average isotopic composition of SNC is a
robust feature, then an extreme composition of H chondrites must be
selected which yields the proportion, 55:45 for the H:EH components.
This composition carries the same oxygen isotopic composition as the
iron inclusions in the IIE of the conjectured end member of the
ordinary chondrite group. The proportions obtained this way enable to
calculate two model compositions for all the refractory elements and
oxygen. Model 1 can be discarded as it does not permit to fit
reasonably the physical properties of the planet. Mass and composition
of the core (Model 2) is easily derived (23% of Mars mass, containing
16% S); the remainder forming the bulk mantle composition. Comparison
with recent estimates based on the composition of SNC meteorites
reveals only minor differences, essentially for Si, Mg and Fe; this is
because of our choice of non-CI chondritic composition, unlike previous
models. Discussion of the assumptions made in previous models confirms
that the new composition is in agreement with the SNC compositions. The
model also permits to calculate adequate physical properties of the
planet like its zero pressure mantle density, density profile with
depth and dimensionless moment of inertia. The superiority of the
present model resides in the minimal number of necessary hypotheses and
the possibility to test it, using physical and chemical data about the
planet: as far as we know of, all constraints can be satisfied within
the errors of the measurements or uncertainty of the model. The Fe
abundance and the low Mg/Si ratio imply that pyroxenes and garnet at
depth will play a major role in the differentiation of the planet, a
feature which differs markedly from the terrestrial mantle. (C) 1999
Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

=================
(8) TRACE ELEMENT MICROANALYSIS IN IRON METEORITES

A.J. Campbell*), M. Humayun: Trace element microanalysis in iron
meteorites by laser ablation ICPMS. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 1999, Vol.71,
No.5, pp.939-946

*) UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO,DEPT GEOPHYS SCI,5734 S ELLIS
   AVE,CHICAGO,IL,60637

A laser ablation microanalysis system has been developed that can
analyze trace elements with a sensitivity in time ppb range, using a
CETAC LSX-200 laser ablation system with a Finnigan Element. This
capability has been applied to a set of iron meteorites to demonstrate
the laser microprobe's analytical capability for the determination of
platinum group elements (PGEs) with a spatial resolution of similar to
20 mu m, comparable to that of dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry
(SIMS). The laser is shown to provide an accurate means of solid
sampling for magnetic sector inductively coupled plasma mass
spectrometry (ICPMS), allowing the determination of bulk metal
composition, chemical zoning within the sample, and depth profiling.
Recovery of the chemical zoning in taenite lamellae was achieved for
Ru, Rh, and Pd, which was not previously possible using SIMS, The
methods presented here show that magnetic sector ICPMS can be
successfully coupled to a laser ablation system, providing the
advantages of higher sensitivity of the sector instrument, low
background count rates (<0.1 counts/s), and flat-topped spectral peaks,
while minimizing tradeoff against the speed of data acquisition
required to handle the transient signals from the laser ablation
system. Copyright 1999, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

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