PLEASE NOTE:


*

CAMBRIDGE-CONFERENCE DIGEST, 20 April 1998
------------------------------------------

(1) FIRST (P)REVIEW OF 'DEEP IMPACT' REVEALS NO HAPPY ENDING
    Ed Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

(2) PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1997 TUNGUSKA WORKSHOP NOW AVAILABLE
    Paolo Farinella <paolof@keplero.dm.unipi.it> wrote:

(3) SPACEGUARD AUSTRALIA
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(4) UPCOMING LYRID METEOR SHOWER
    George Zay <GeoZay@aol.com>

(5) A SURVEY OF ANNUAL METEOR ACTIVITY
   I. Yrjola & P. Jenniskens

(6) CALCULATING A METEOR RADIANT
    L. Neslusan et al., SLOVAK ACADEMY OF SCIENCE

========================

(1) FIRST (P)REVIEW OF 'DEEP IMPACT' REVEALS NO HAPPY ENDING

From: Ed Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

Hello Benny -

Checked out the "Deep Impact" websites.  Attached to this message
is a "review" that outlines the plot of the movie.  The official
site links off to the Planetary Society, so I will try to
contact Lou Friedman and see what is going on. 

Ed
--------------------

The reviews here are from various people who visit test screenings
of films.

Deep Impact

- A Review by  <Light House Shines>

Well for starters this film was a lot better than what I had originally
expected, although truth be known I really didn't expect much. As
I haven't seen any real previews for this film yet ( Just on the
internet a few days ago), as mainly I have been waiting for
Armageddon to be screened. So I didn't know quite what to expect,
which I think was a good thing overall. As I bet it helped me
enjoy the film a bit more than if I had expected a whole lot from
it ( Like I did with Dark City!), Though please let reassure you
that this is a good film no matter what and I will explain why. As
for starters the film has a rather huge cast of relatively well
known or at least highly recognizable stars, especially the two
people from E.R. ( The Ambulance guy who died in the fire, Shep,
and that Bitchy crippled Doctor Carrie Weaver. I think was her
name). As well as Blair Underwood from L.A. Law fame, the Mom from
Second Noah, Denise Crosby from STTNG, Vanessa Redgrave,
Mrs.Duchovny-Tea Leoni, Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Morgan Freeman
as 'The Black President' and a whole bunch of other people thrown
into the mix for the hell of it. Such as Elijah Wood's character,
Leo Biederman, who the film starts off with.

As he, his romantic interest (Played by some unknown girl), his
entire local highschool astronomy class are out on some mountain
taking pictures and identifying local stars and stellar phenomena
(well local is a relative term mind you). Which is how Wood's
character ends up taking a picture of something that shouldn't be
where it is, or is not what they (his teacher and his romantic
interest) think it should be. Which prompts his teacher to send
Wood's photo to a local astronomer for proper identification, who
upon receiving the photo discovers that it is actually a huge
comet on a direct collision course with the Earth. Which naturally
freaks him out (he has been drinking JOLT cola all evening),so he
immediate rushes from his out of the way mountain observatory to
tell the world of his finding. As he email server was down and he
couldn't email anyone ( Must be AOL) and his cell phone was down
to, though for all his effort he never quite makes it. As he is
run off the road and killed when a truck driver, who lost control
of his rig when he dropped a cigarette (see what smoking does
kiddies!), collides into him. So the astronomer is dead and the
film now jumps ahead in time one year to the desk of a local
television news station in Washington D.C. or near it as I wasn't
quite sure where they were really, as everyone in this film was
surprisingly mobile. Anyway at the TV station we are in the
beginnings of a story meeting where the station is deciding on
just what the real reason a local senator is resigning for, as the
facts thus far just do not make sense...or at least they don't to
spunky TV anchor wannabe Jenny Lerner, played by Tea Leoni (You
must love her after her short lived series Flying Blind on FOX).
As she is convinced that there is more to this story than meets
the eye and wants to go after the real story and thus get her shot
at being a regular anchor. But that evil ER chick wont let her as
she feels she isn't ready, though we all know it's professional
jealousy. Though Leoni's character wont take no for an answer and
heads off to get the real story herself. Which leads her to
believe that the real reason the senator resigned was because of
of an affair he was supposedly having with a woman named ELLIE, as
that is what the Senator's secretary overheard on several
occasions and reported back to Leoni's character. So with this
information in hand Leoni's character sets out to talk to the
Senator and find out just who ELLIE, though she doesn't quite get
the answers she thought she would. As once she meets the Senator
(Played by that guy from Babe, Species II and Star Trek First
Contact...Cochrane), who is about to leave on a very, very long
trip, and tells him that she knows everything. He doesn't seem to
care, even when she threatens to announce it on television. As he
says if she want's to break the biggest story the world has ever
known, than she can as it makes no difference now.

So with this news in mind, Leoni's character has a hard time dealing
with her life as it were knowing that all things can or will end
in the near future. As all the while this story is taking place
Leoni's character is having to deal with the fact that her mother
(Vanessa Redgrave) is in a state of dispare now that her former
husband has left her for a woman who is only two years older than
Leoni's character. Who Leoni finally meets in some fancy
restaurant, which is where on one of the films funniest scenes
takes place. As Leoni's father and new step mother believe that
Leoni's odd behavior and heavy drinking are the result of the fact
that her father just got married. While Leoni has to laugh, as
such trivial things are way beneath her now.  As she tell her
father that he should be with her mother because she is all alone
and walks out, trying to deal with her emotions about the world
coming to an end. With only herself to turn to as she cannot
reveal what she knows until the actual press conference that the
President has called, where he will inform the world of the
situation. Which is that roughly 1 year ago a comet on a collision
course with Earth was discovered, and that since then the American
and Soviet government has been working on a joint project to build
a space station and subsequent shuttle that will deliver a team of
astronauts to the surface of the dark side of the comet and drill
explosive devices into it's center and detonate several nuclear
warheads. Which they then hope will break up the comet into small
enough pieces that will burn up as they enter the earth's
atmosphere.  Said team of astronauts being mainly Robert Duvall,
Blair Underwood, The guy from ER, and a man and woman I didn't
recognize...But it doesn't matter as they die anyway. Well they
all do actually. As the team of astronauts successfully drill,
plant and detonate the mine, but just without the desired effect.
For instead of just one large comet or meterorite fragment, they
now have two. One which will hit off the coast of the western
hemisphere and the other one near Canada.

Now even though a lot of the special effects were only in the digital
mapping stages, they still looked pretty good. As there were a lot
of water/tidal waves effects in this film that looked or will look
really cool once they are all completed and cleaned up. As you get
to see several cities utterly destroyed as gigantic wave fronts,
several hundred miles long and high crash down and swallow
everything in their path! Definitely one of the highlights of the
film, or at least for me. As I think they did a good job, and it
was interesting to see that most of the actual damage would come
from such a source. As I was picturing massive explosions, fire
and rock debries, not mere monsterous tidal waves. So that was a
refreshing change of pace in terms of mass destruction! Plus the
fact that just about everyone in this film died at the end was
somewhat surprising as well, especially the way that Leoni's
character died, as she could have lived had she chosen to. yet she
opted to stay with her father and face death together, which while
was very noble was a little different in terms of getting use to.
But all of the above mention really made for an emotionally
powerful film, as a lot of people did things that you wouldn't
normally expect them to do, or at least not in a film. As most
people really acted like actual human beings and showed warmth and
compassion, rather than backstabbing and deceit as one would have
expected if the world was going to hell...Well this took place in
Washington D.C. and not L.A., so I guess that is why. Still the
film was a lot better than I expected and I will say that I think
it's actually worth your $7.50 to see some interesting film
making, which I will hope is going to be a going trend for
Dreamworks who made the film and that there stuff will only get
better and better. As this film was certainly better than The
Peacemaker, so they're off to a good star at least.

=======================
(2) PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1997 TUNGUSKA WORKSHOP NOW AVAILABLE

From: Paolo Farinella <paolof@keplero.dm.unipi.it> wrote:

Dear Benny,

I think this may be of interest.

Best, Paolo Farinella

------------------
Journal        : Planetary and Space Science
Volume issue   : 46/2-3
Year           : 1998
Anticipated Publication Date: 09-APR-98


pp. 125-125
Foreword of the Tunguska issue

pp. 129-150
The Tunguska Meteorite problem today
NV Vasilyev

pp. 151-154
Search for the local centres of the Tunguska explosions
VD Goldine

pp. 155-161
Consequences of the Tunguska catastrophe: dendrochronoindication inferences
VD Nesvetajlo

pp. 163-167
Isotopic anomaly in peat nitrogen is a probable trace of acid rains caused by
1908 Tunguska bolide
EM Kolesnikov, NV Kolesnikova, T Boettger

pp. 169-177
New aspects of the Tunguska meteorite problem
VA Alekseev

pp. 179-188
Discovery of iridium and other element anomalies near the 1908 Tunguska
explosion site
QL Huo, PX Ma, EM Kolesnikov

pp. 191-204
Evidence for asteroidal origin of the Tunguska object
Z Sekanina

pp. 205-211
On the possible relation between the Tunguska bolide and comet Encke
DJ Asher, DI Steel

pp. 213-217
The cometary nature of the Tunguska meteorite: on the predictive possibilities
of mathematical models
S Grigorian

pp. 219-229
Damage from the impacts of small asteroids
JG Hills, MP Goda

pp. 231-244
Complex modelling of the Tunguska catastrophe
VP Korobeinikov, LV Shurshalov, VI Vlasov, IV Semenov

pp. 245-252
A computer model of the atmospheric entry of the Tunguska object
JE Lyne, ME Tauber, RM Fought

pp. 253-260
Gasdynamical model of the Tunguska fall
VP Stulov

pp. 261-268
Could the Tunguska debris survive the terminal flare?
VV Svetsov

pp. 271-281
Earth cratering record and impact energy flux in the last 150 Ma
A Montanari, A Campo Bagatin, P Farinella

pp. 283-290
Evaluation of ground-based optical surveys for near-Earth asteroids
AW Harris

pp. 291-297
Discovery and follow-up simulations for small Earth-crossing asteroids
K Muinonen

pp. 299-302
The NEO confirmation page
BG Marsden, GV Williams

pp. 303-309
The flux of Tunguska-sized fragments from the main asteroid belt
P Farinella, M Menichella

pp. 311-322
Production of Tunguska-sized bodies by Earth's tidal forces
W Bottke, DC Richardson, SG Love

pp. 323-328
The group of Macha craters in western Yakutia
EP Gurov, EP Gurova

pp. 329-340
Some metallic spherules in calcareous-marly sediments of the Romanoro Flysch,
Sestola-Vidiciatico tectonic unit (Modena district, Northern Apennines, Italy)
A Colombetti, G Ferrari, F Nicolodi, F Panini

=========================
(3) SPACEGUARD AUSTRALIA

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

Please note the information on "Spaceguard Australia" at
http://www1.tpgi.com.au/users/tps-seti/spacegd.html. In particular
Duncan Steel and his co-authors have just released a paper describing
the success of the program until government funding was stopped in
1996.

Michael Paine

=======================
(4) UPCOMING LYRID METEOR SHOWER

From George Zay <GeoZay@aol.com>

It's been a long while since anyone made a post about the upcoming
Lyrid meteor shower. Just thought I would put the following in as a
reminder. Useful Lyrid activity began yesterday (April 16). So far the
long range weather prediction for S. California looks good. Hopefully
I'll get a few hours of observing in prior to midnight and a few all
nighters beginning this sunday.

George Zay

LYRIDS - This shower peaks on April 21/22 and produces 15 meteors per
hour on average. Although the Lyrids are considered to be a major
shower, I personally think of them as being a very active minor shower.
The Lyrids are associated with Comet Thatcher 1861I and have produced
several bursts of activity in the past. The most recent such event
occurred in 1982 when the ZHR reached 90 meteors per hour. Begin your
observations around 23 hours local. This year the moon will be a waning
crescent and rising just before dawn. It is difficult to photograph the
Lyrids due to their low numbers and only occasional fireball. I
recommend a 50mm lens  set at f/1.4-2.0. The Lyrids are visible from
the southern hemisphere, but at a much reduced rate. Max: for 1998,
April 21/22 at 10hr UT; ZHR: 15; Vel. 48km/s(Fast); Duration: April
16-25; Population Index: 2.9; Radiant diameter: 5 degrees; Train
production: 17.2%; Radiant: RA 18h04m, Dec +34; Three Letter Shower
Code: LYR

=======================
(5) A SURVEY OF ANNUAL METEOR ACTIVITY

I. Yrjola*) & P. Jenniskens: Meteor stream activity - VI. A survey of
annual meteor activity by means of forward meteor scattering. ASTRONOMY
AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.330, No.2, pp.739-752

*) JUKOLANTIE 16,FIN-45740 KUUSANKOSKI,FINLAND

The meteor activity of northern hemisphere streams was measured by
means of radio forward meteor scatter. In 1994, there were 45 episodes
of enhanced activity which were detected again in 1995, at both times
on top of a continuous background of sporadic activity. Thirty of these
enhancements were identified with known meteor streams by examining
their daily variation of rates. For each stream, the radiant, the time
of maximum, the duration, and the peak activity are given in units that
allow direct comparison with prior results from visual observations.
These results further refine models of the near-Earth dust environment
and serve to characterise the properties of the current automatic
meteor counting system for future use in the search for meteor
outbursts. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

============================
(6) CALCULATING A METEOR RADIANT

L. Neslusan*), J. Svoren, V. Porubcan: A computer program for
calculation of a theoretical meteor-stream radiant. ASTRONOMY AND
ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.331, No.1, pp.411-413

*) SLOVAK ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, INSTITUTE OF ASTRONOMY, SK-05960
   TATRANSKA LOMNIC,SLOVAKIA

A computer program for calculation of a theoretical meteor shower
radiant is introduced. The program makes also choice of optimum method
for a given parent's body orbit. Six different methods of radiant
calculation are used in the program. Moreover, the program computes
some additional characteristics of mean orbit of investigated shower.
Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

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