PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 8 June 1999
--------------------------

(1) 1998 OX4: THIRD ASTEROID WITH A NON-ZERO IMPACT PROBABILITY FOUND -
    SIMILAR OBJECTS EXPECTED TO BE DISCOVERED MORE FREQUENTLY
    Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>

(2) NEO SEARCHES REQUIRE FUNDING, COOPERATION
    SpaceViews. The online Journal for Space Exploration, 8 June 1999

(3) SPACEGUARD ONLY LOOKING ONE WAY
    Spacer.Com, 2 June 1999

(4) FAST ROTATING ASTEROIDS
    Petr Pravec <ppravec@asu.cas.cz>

(5) CLOSE-CALL ASTEROID COMING
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(6) THE LARGEST IMPACT STRUCTURE IN FRANCE?
    Andrew Glikson <geospectral@spirit.com.au>

(7) UK CHOSEN FOR FIRST LIVING PLANET MISSION
    Peter Bond <100604.1111@compuserve.com>

(8) INTERNET REVEALS SOLAR EXPLOSION'S TARGET
    BBC Online Network, 7 June 1999

(9) DISCOVERY OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL IRON AT THE TRIASSIC-PERMIAN BOUNDARY
    S. Miono et al., OSAKA CITY UNIVERSITY

(10) IS THERE A 100 KRY PERIODICITY IN THE ACCRETION OF INTERPLANETARY DUST?
    D.B. Patterson and K.A. Farley, CALTECH

(11) DICARBOXYLIC ACIDS IN K-T BOUNDARY SEDIMENTS
     H. Mita et al., UNIVERSITY OF TSUKUBA

(12) ON THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL DELIVERY OF ORGANIC MATTER
     V.A. Basiuk and J. Douda, UNIV NACL AUTONOMA MEXICO

(13) PLAN TO DEMOCRATISE SCIENCE ONLINE
     The New York Times, 8 June 1999

===========
(1) 1998 OX4: THIRD ASTEROID WITH A NON-ZERO IMPACT PROBABILITY FOUND -
    SIMILAR OBJECTS EXPECTED TO BE DISCOVERED MORE FREQUENTLY

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

As a result of recent discussions at the IMPACT workshop in Turin, is
has become clear that the rapid increase in NEO discoveries, which is
expected in the next decade, will inevitably lead to significant
numbers of PHAs with non-zero impact probabilities such as asteroids
1997XF11 and 1999 AN10. In contrast to XF11 and AN10, however, the vast
majority of these PHAs will no longer be newsworthy due to their
minuscule chances of actual impact (in the next century or so). The
calculations of their orbital dynamics will be made routinely, and
particularly interesting objects will be continuously monitored.
Consequently, public interest will only arise in exceptional cases
which prove to have *significant* impact risks (< 1:1000?, or in the
event of the detection of a Tunguska-sized object). That this
coolness is almost the norm already was evident when, at the last day
of the IMPACT workshop, Andrea Milani presented new results he and his
team (Steven Chesley and Giovanni Valsecchi) obtained from calculating
the impact probabilities for asteroid 1998 OX4.

Asteroid 1998 OX4 was discovered by the SPACEWATCH search programme
operated by the University of Arizona on Kitt Peak on July 26 1998.
Since this PHA (size c. 300-600m) approaches the Earth fairly close
several times during the next 100 years or so, the Minor PLanet Centre
has placed the NEO on its list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
<http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Dangerous.html>

Andrea Milani and his colleagues have now analysed all dangerous
encounters asteroid 1998 OX4 will make with the Earth in the next 50
years and found that there is a tiny chance of an impact in January
2046. Yet, the probability of such an encounter is, once again,
extremely small (1:100.000.000) and thus of actual interest only to the
NEO search community which will have to monitor the object in the
future. Unfortunately, this PHA has been lost (which raises the
important questions of how to avoid such losses in the future!) and
might only be recovered sometime in the year 2000 or 2004.

Andrea Milani tells me that the details of their calculations will be
posted on the NEODys home page at http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys
in the next few days.

Benny J Peiser

==========
(2) NEO SEARCHES REQUIRE FUNDING, COOPERATION

From SpaceViews. The online Journal for Space Exploration, 8 June 1999
http://www.spaceviews.com/1999/06/08a.html

Astronomers involved in the search for near-Earth objects (NEOs)
stressed the need at an Italian conference last week for greater
funding and international cooperation to improve their searches.

Scientists attending the International Monitoring Programs for Asteroid
and Comet Threat (IMPACT) conference in Torino, Italy, representing a
large fraction of the NEO science community, worked on a number of
recommendations to pass on to the International Astronomical Union.

Key among the recommendations generated by scientists was the need for
greater cooperation among the various national research programs to
look for NEOs. Participants called for the creation of national
"Spaceguard" centers that would work together with the international
Spaceguard Foundation to coordinate searches and follow-up efforts.

Such cooperation is seen as necessary as the number of NEO search
programs grows. However, even with all the new programs, it is
uncertain whether they will be able to reach Spaceguard's goal of
detecting 90 percent of all NEO's more than 1 km (0.6 mi.) in diameter
in the next ten years. In addition, followup observing programs, as
well as efforts to observe smaller objects, will require more and
larger telescopes.

Participants also made recommendations on the best way to communicate
reports of potentially hazardous objects, including the use of a
"hazard scale" to more effectively describe the risk of impact by an
NEO. The specifics of those recommendations will be finalized later
this summer.

Conference members also called on more efforts devoted to followup
searches and compositional studies of asteroids to determine their true
nature (although such studies will require the use of large telescopes)
as well as new search programs based in the Southern Hemisphere.

The final recommendations from the IMPACT conference will be passed on
to the IAU and published in July or August.

Copyright 1999, SpaceViews

===============
(3) SPACEGUARD ONLY LOOKING ONE WAY

From Spacer.Com, 2 June 1999
http://www.spacer.com/spacecast/news/oped-99f.html

By Dr. David James Johnson

Washington - June 2, 1999 - The U.S. Congress is considering a boost in
NASA's budget for surveying the Near Earth Object population to over 10
million dollars a year. Once approved, this would hopefully see NASA
take a more receptive and responsible lead in this research.

Dr. David Morrison's recent statements on this potential funding on
the CCNet, yet as he spoke of the Survey which NASA would undertake
along with the USAF's LINEAR Project, there was no mention of the
southern hemisphere. When asked directly about this, Dr. Morrison
replied that the southern hemisphere had not been considered in this.

FULL STORY at
http://www.spacer.com/spacecast/news/oped-99f.html

===============
(4) FAST ROTATING ASTEROIDS

From Petr Pravec <ppravec@asu.cas.cz>

Benny,

Reading a press release about the Mark Hammergren's work in the June
7 issue of the CCNet Digest, I think that you and others could be
interested in my review talk on Fast Rotating Asteroids that I will
give on the Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1999 conference to be held at
the Cornell University during July 26-30.  See an abstract of my talk
at the ACM99 abstract web page
http://scorpio.tn.cornell.edu/ACM/web_abs.html
(Although I am drawing your attention to my talk, I believe also many
of the other abstracts on the page would be interesting for you and
others.)

It was nice to meet you at the IMPACT workshop.

Best wishes,

Petr Pravec
Astronomical Institute
Ondrejov
Czech Republic

===============
(5) CLOSE-CALL ASTEROID COMING

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

To: The Editor, Sky & Telescope

Your article "Close-call Asteroid Coming" has a factual error. In
effect, it misquotes Paul Chodas from JPL. The article suggests that
the odds of asteroid 1999 AN10 colliding with the earth in 2044 are
"...roughly 1 in 500,000 -- slightly more likely than a chance hit
from an undiscovered asteroid over the next 40 years". The odds of an
undiscovered asteroid with a diameter of 1 kilometre or more are
about 1 in 100,000 in any ONE YEAR. The odds over 40 years are
therefore about 1 in 2,500 - much more likely than the 1999 AN10
collision. A collision with a small "undiscovered" asteroid is even
more likely. Assuming a poisson distribution, the odds of a Tunguska
style event (60m diameter asteroid) are about 1 in 3 over a 40 years
period! See http://www1.tpgi.com.au/users/tps-seti/spacegd7.html for
further details.

Michael Paine
NSW Coordinator
The Planetary Society Australian Volunteers

==============
(6) THE LARGEST IMPACT STRUCTURE IN FRANCE?

From Andrew Glikson <geospectral@spirit.com.au>

Dear Benny

CCNet 8.6.99 includes a report cited from "Sciences et Avenir" of two
impact structures identified from Landsat images in southwest France
- measuring 200-300 km in diameter and including (1) Rochechourart
and (2) Bizeneuille.

A literature check suggests (1)  Rochechouart is a 23 km-diameter
crater 214+/- Myr in age (based on R.A.F. Grieve's formal crater
listing and on Spray et al., 1998 - Evidence for a late Triassic
multiple impacts event on Earth, Nature, 392:171-173); (2) I have not
found the reported crater Bizeneuille in the formal crater listing.

Regarding the possibility that late Triassic impacts (Rochechourart,
Saint Martin, Manicouagan, Redwing, Obolon) formed part of a single
asteroid swarm, this was suggested by Spray et al. (1998) and
questioned by Melosh (1998 - Craters unchained,  Nature,
394:221-222).

Yes, I will greatly appreciate being able to examine the reported
Landsat evidence for 200-300 km size craters in southwestern France.

Andrew Glikson
8.6.1999
geospectral@spirit.com.au

=============
(7) UK CHOSEN FOR FIRST LIVING PLANET MISSION

From Peter Bond <100604.1111@compuserve.com>

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
PRESS INFORMATION NOTE

Date: 7 June 1999
Ref. PN 99/15

Issued by:

Peter Bond,
RAS Press Officer (Space Science)
10 Harrier Close,
Cranleigh,
Surrey, GU6 7BS,
United Kingdom.
Phone: +44 (0)1483-268672
Fax: +44 (0)1483-274047
E-mail: 100604.1111@compuserve.com

RAS Web: http://www.ras.org.uk/ras/

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS RELEASE:
Professor Duncan Wingham (University College London)
Tel: (+44) (0)171 419 3677
Fax: (+44) (0)171 419 3418
E-mail: djw@mssl.ucl.ac.uk

Patrick Edwards,
Head of Media Relations, (University College London)
Tel: (+44) (0)171-391-1621
Fax: (+44) (0)171-209-0117
E-mail: patrick.edwards@ucl.ac.uk

Ursula Edmunds, NERC Communications,
Swindon, Wilts.
Tel: (+44) (0)1793-411604
Fax: (+44) (0)1793-411510.
E-mail: uwe@nerc.ac.uk
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UK Chosen For First Living Planet Mission.

An innovative UK-led space mission to study the shrinkage of Arctic
sea ice has been selected as the pioneering mission in the European
Space Agencys new Living Planet programme. Known as CRYOSAT, the
mission was chosen ahead of 26 other proposals submitted from all
over Europe. The announcement was made by the UK Space Minister, Lord
Sainsbury, who is currently chairman of the ESA Ministerial Council,
and Antonio Rodota, ESAs Director General, at a press briefing held
in London earlier today.

The 350 kg CRYOSAT, which is expected to be launched into a near-polar
orbit in 2002, will be dedicated to a two year study of polar sea
ice. Lead scientist on the mission will be Professor Duncan Wingham
of University College, London, who has spent many years studying
polar ice with radar satellites.


CRYOSATs radar will enable it to see in darkness and in all weathers at
least 85% of the ice floating on the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The
satellite will carry two radar altimeters, spaced one metre apart, to
obtain high resolution synthetic aperture radar observations of the
surface features as it passes overhead.

Even more significant, however, will be the use of a computer processing
technique known as interferometry. This allows scientists to combine
the radar signals which are bounced off the planets surface and
received by each instrument in order to create a three-dimensional
view of the surface variations in the sea ice.

This technique will enable CRYOSAT to measure the thickness of polar sea
ice. Although ice floes are typically 2 - 6 metres thick, only 10% of
his (20 - 60 cm) can be seen above sea level. The object of the
mission is to measure these differences in height, and so determine
the thickness of the underlying ice. If the sea ice is melting and
thinning, this should show up in the data returned by the satellite.

We're interested in how much ice changes into water, said
Professor Wingham. We measure this to calculate the mass of melted
ice entering the oceans.

Although Arctic sea ice has not so far been studied in detail, it is
a particularly important factor in models of the global environment -
much more so than Antarctic sea ice, which shrinks back to the
coasts every summer because it is much thinner and largely
restricted to inshore waters.

If the Arctic ice cap was to melt and disintegrate, the consequences
could be catastrophic. With no ice to reflect sunlight and heat in
the summer, the entire radiation balance of the Earth would change.
This would lead to major shifts in ocean currents, particularly in
the North Atlantic, leading to alterations in the thermo-haline ocean
circulation system which transfers heat and minerals around the
planet. The end result would be dramatic global climate change and
unpredictable disruption to the oceanic food chain.

NOTES FOR EDITORS.

CRYOSAT was selected as the first Earth Explorer opportunity mission
under ESAs new Living Planet programme. It was chosen from 27 study
proposals which covered all aspects of Earth science, Earths
atmosphere, land surface, oceans and polar caps.

ESA has already selected a second candidate small-scale opportunity
mission - known as Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity. This proposal is
led by French scientists, but has strong NERC involvement through
co-investigators at the Southampton Oceanography Centre and the
Institute of Hydrology. A decision about whether it will be adopted
will be made when the funding situation has been clarified.

The Living Planet programme was given the go-ahead at a meeting of
the ESA Ministerial Council in Brussels on 11-12 May. It will be
implemented in a series of five-year-long stages. The first stage of
the programme (1999-2002) will be funded by ESA at a level of  593
million Euro (about 400 million pounds). The UK has pledged a
contribution of 14% (approximately 67 million pounds) towards the
programme through the DTI and the Natural Environment Research
Council (NERC).

ESAs opportunity missions will be strictly budget limited with the
agency committed to provide funding of no more than 80 million Euro
(about 54 million pounds) towards each of the opportunity missions.
Additional funding will be requested from other sources, including
industry.

==============
(8) INTERNET REVEALS SOLAR EXPLOSION'S TARGET

From the BBC Online Network, 7 June 1999
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_363000/363358.stm

By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

A tremendous explosion took place on the surface of the Sun last
Tuesday and for a few very nervous hours astronomers did not know
whether it was heading for Earth.

The blast threw a jet of superheated plasma carrying magnetic energy
into space at speeds of 1,000 kilometres per second (600 miles per
second).

However, using the speed of the Internet, astronomers around the world
rapidly compared images and decided that a worldwide alert was
unnecessary.

FULL STORY at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_363000/363358.stm

===============
(9) DISCOVERY OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL IRON AT THE TRIASSIC-PERMIAN BOUNDARY

S. Miono*), Y. Nakayama, K. Hanamoto: The discovery of native iron
nuggets in the 250 my old bedded chert of Sasayama section, Japan:
provenance estimated by PIXE analysis. NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS
IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION B-BEAM INTERACTIONS WITH MATERIALS AND
ATOMS, 1999, Vol.150, No.1-4, pp.516-519

*) OSAKA CITY UNIVERSITY, SUMIYOSHI KU,OSAKA,JAPAN

A large number of micron sized native iron nuggets (micro iron nugget)
occurs in the Triassic-Permian bedded chert. Judging from PIXE analyses
and microscopic observations, an interstellar origin is deduced. The
occurrence of micro iron nuggets is remarkable and is strongly
suggestive of the existence of a new accretional mechanism in space.
(C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

================
(10) IS THERE A 100 KRY PERIODICITY IN THE ACCRETION OF INTERPLANETARY DUST?

D.B. Patterson*) and K.A. Farley: Extraterrestrial He-3 in seafloor
sediments: Evidence for correlated 100 kyr periodicity in the accretion
rate of interplanetary dust, orbital parameters, and Quaternary
climate. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 1998, Vol.62, No.23-24,
pp.3669-3682

*) CALTECH,DIV GEOL & PLANETARY SCI,PASADENA,CA,91125

We have determined the helium abundance and isotopic composition of
seafloor carbonate sediments from the flanks of the Ontong Java
Plateau, western equatorial Pacific Ocean (ODP Site 806). These results
provide a two million year record of the burial flux of
extraterrestrial He-3, which we believe is a proxy for the
terrestrial accretion rate of interplanetary dust particles. The He-3
burial flux prior to similar to 700 ka was relatively low, similar to
0.5 pcc cm(-2) kyr(-1), but from 700 ka to the present, the burial
flux gradually increased to a value of similar to 1.0 pcc cm(-2)
kyr(-1). 100 kyr periodicity in the He-3 burial flux is apparent over
the last 700 kyr and correlates with the oxygen isotope record of
global climate, with high He-3 burial fluxes associated with
interglacial periods. This periodicity and phase are consistent with
previous He-3 measurements in North Atlantic sediments. Although 100
kyr periodicity in He-3 burial flux is in agreement with recent
predictions of the accretion rate of interplanetary dust based on a
model of the orbital evolution of asteroidal debris, the measurements
and predictions differ by one half cycle in phase. Nevertheless, our
observations suggest the terrestrial accretion rate of interplanetary
dust is controlled by orbital eccentricity and/or inclination
relative to the solar-system invariable plane. Such control is a
necessary but not sufficient condition for the hypothesis of Muller
and MacDonald (1995) that variations in extraterrestrial dust
accretion modulates terrestrial climate with a 100 kyr period. We
also identify several brief (<25 kyr) intervals of strongly enhanced
He-3 burial, possibly related to random and transient fluctuations in
the accretion rate of asteroidal or cometary dust particles.
Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

====================
(11) DICARBOXYLIC ACIDS IN K-T BOUNDARY SEDIMENTS

H. Mita*), N. Fukunaga, A. Shimoyama: Characterization of dicarboxylic
acids in the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary sediments at Kawaruppu,
Hokkaido, Japan, and comparison with those of carbonaceous chondrites.
GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA, 1998, Vol.62, No.23-24, pp.3695-3702

*) UNIVERSITY OF TSUKUBA,DEPT CHEM,TSUKUBA,IBARAKI 3058571,JAPAN

Twenty-seven C-2 to C-9 dicarboxylic acids were identified in the
Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary sediments at Kawaruppu, Hokkaido,
Japan. These dicarboxylic acids included normal, branched, and
unsaturated forms. Their concentrations were lowest (17, 0.40, and
0.71 nmol g(-1) for normal, branched, and unsaturated, respectively)
at the lowest horizon (0-0.8 cm) of the boundary claystone, reflecting
the minimal biomass production due to the massive extinction of
organisms at the boundary. However, the concentrations were higher at
the other horizons (0.8-13.7 cm) within the boundary claystone than
above (40-495 cm) or below (-395-0 cm) it. In general, the normal
dicarboxylic acids showed a roughly logarithmic decrease in
concentration with increasing carbon number. Only methylsuccinic acid
among the branched dicarboxylic acids could be shown to be racemic,
because only in this case was enough material present in the sediments
for analysis. Unsaturated dicarboxylic acids showed an apparent
cis-form predominance over trans with C-4 and C-5 isomers. The
logarithmic decrease, the presence of racemic methyl succinic acid, and
the cis-form predominance can be explained as a result of the
65-million-year diagenesis of the sediments. These characteristics were
compared with those found in the Murchison and Yamato-791198
carbonaceous chondrites (Shimoyama and Shigematsu, 1994) in order to
seek evidence for a contribution of dicarboxylic acid(s) of
extraterrestrial origin to the K/T boundary sediments at Kawaruppu;
however, the observed dicarboxylic acids in the sediments could not be
attributed to an extraterrestrial origin. Copyright (C)
1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

====================
(12) ON THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL DELIVERY OF ORGANIC MATTER

V.A. Basiuk*) and J. Douda: Pyrolysis of simple amino acids and
nucleobases: survivability limits and implications for
extra-terrestrial delivery. PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE, 1999,
Vol.47, No.3-4, pp.577-584

*) UNIV NACL AUTONOMA MEXICO,LAB QUIM PLASMAS & ESTUDIOS
PLANETARIOS,INST CIENCIAS NUCL,MEXICO CITY 04510,DF,MEXICO

The idea of extraterrestrial delivery of organic matter to the early
Earth is strongly supported by the detection of a large variety of
organic compounds in the interstellar medium, comets: and
carbonaceous chondrites. Whether organic compounds essential for the
emergence and evolution of life, particularly amino acids and nucleic
acid bases found in the meteorites, can be efficiently delivered by
other space bodies is unclear and depends primarily on capability of
the biomolecules to survive high temperatures during atmospheric
deceleration and impacts to the terrestrial surface. In the present
study we estimated survivability of simple amino acids glycine,
L-alanine, alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, L-valine and L-leucine),
purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (uracil and cytosine)
under rapid heating to temperatures of 400-1000 degrees C under N-2
or CO2 atmosphere. We have found that most of the compounds studied
cannot survive the temperatures substantially higher than 700 degrees
C; however at 500-600 degrees C, the recovery can be at a percent
level (or even l0%-level for adenine: uracil, alanine, and valine).
The final fate of amino acids and nucleobases during the atmospheric
deceleration and surface impacts is discussed depending on such
factors as size of the space body, nature and altitude of the
heating, chemical composition of the space body and of the
atmosphere. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

===============
(13) PLAN TO DEMOCRATISE SCIENCE ONLINE

From The New York Times, 8 June 1999
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/060899sci-research-journal.html

N.I.H. Plan for Journal on the Web Draws Fire

By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON -- The director of the National Institutes of Health has
touched off a passionate debate by proposing that scientists disclose
and disseminate the results of biomedical research on the Internet,
making the full text of their reports available at no cost to anyone
with a computer anywhere in the world.

The director, Dr. Harold E. Varmus, said his proposal for an electronic
publishing operation, called E-biomed, would speed the progress of
science by accelerating the exchange of information among researchers
and by vastly increasing access to it.

Moreover, he said, the Web site could be "a democratizing force"
because any legitimate researchers, "however remotely located or poorly
known," could enter reports on it.

FULL STORY at
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/060899sci-research-journal.html

----------------------------------------
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----------------------------------------
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please contact the moderator Benny J Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>.
Information circulated on this network is for scholarly and
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*

NEW IMPACT RISK PAGE

From Andrea Milani <milani@dm.unipi.it>

Dear Benny,

We have done as promised; you can go to the home page of NEODyS

http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys/

and from there you will find a link to an "Impact Risk Page" (in the
What's new section). This page is currently maintained manually, but we
are working towards an automated system.

We appreciate your comments, as well as comments by your readers, on
how clear, understandable it is; the style has to be cool and
technical, but we are ready to change the wording if this can increase
accessibility.

Yours

Andrea Milani and Steve Chesley

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



CCCMENU CCC for 1999

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