PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST, 11 June 1999
--------------------------

     QUOTE OF THE DAY

     "Junior stargazers from Merseyside are being allowed access to the
     most advanced [robotic] telescope in the world. Youngsters from
     local schools have been allocated 5% of the total viewing time
     alloted to the first robotic telescope. It is an amazing
     opportunity for pupils who will be in the same position as some of
     the greatest astronomers" (Liverpool Echo, 10 June 1999)


(1) ASTRONOMY FOR ALL: LIVERPOOL TELESCOPE REVOLUTIONIZES STARGAZING
    LIVERPOOL ECHO, 10 June 1999

(2) ANOTHER ASTEROID WITH EARTH IMPACT PROBABILITY DISCOVERED
    SpaceViews, 9 June 1999

(3) FRANK ZOLTOWSKI & ASTEROID 1999 AN10
    Linda Wong <tps@planetary.org>

(4) GENE SHOEMAKER NEAR EARTH OBJECT GRANTS
    Linda Wong <tps@planetary.org>

(5) JUPITER'S MOON GANYMEDE SURROUNDED BY AN IMPACT-GENERATED DUST CLOUD
    Ron Baalke <baalke@ssd.jpl.nasa.gov>

(6) SURPRISE, SURPRISE: WE'RE NOT THE ONLY ONES DEBATING HOW TO HANDLE
    SCIENTIFIC DATA IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET
    YAHOO! NEWS, 10 June 1999

(7) FIRST SUCCESSFUL ANTI-MISSILE INTERCEPT TEST
    MSNBC ONLINE, 10 June 1999

(8) METEORS & COMETS: ASK THE ASTRONOMER
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(8) AND FINALLY..... AS NATO WINS BALKAN WAR, BRITISH ARMY RATIONALISE
    INTERNATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT
    Jonathan TATE <fr77@dial.pipex.com>


================
(1) ASTRONOMY FOR ALL: LIVERPOOL TELESCOPE REVOLUTIONIZES STARGAZING

From LIVERPOOL ECHO, 10 June 1999

PUPILS MEET THE STARS

By Barry Turnbull

Junior stargazers from Merseyside are being allowed access to the most
advanced [robotic] telescope in the world. Youngsters from local
schools have been allocated 5% of the total viewing time alloted to the
first robotic telescope.

It is an amazing opportunity for pupils who will be in the same
position as some of the greatest astronomers.

At the moment the device is being constructed in Birkenhead ready for
shipment to the Canary Islands. There the 30ft, 2m eye in the sky will
scan the heavens on behalf of the astronomical community and project
organisers at John Moores University. But it will be automatically
controlled at the Twelve Quays base of JMU and construction firm
Telescope Technologies.

Project director Professor Mike Bode said: "The Liverpool Robotic
Telescope is an extremely important project and not just for the
astronomical community. Five per cent of the time in use will be
allocated to Merseyside schools who will access the telescope via the
Internet to study the planets and stars."

Images from the telescope will also be relayed to the Liverpool
Planetarium and Space Galery in William Brown Street. The success of
the project has brought commissions to build other devices and is
expected to lead to new jobs.

Copyright 1999, Liverpool Echo

[For further information, see http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/]

=================
(2) ANOTHER ASTEROID WITH EARTH IMPACT PROBABILITY DISCOVERED

From SpaceViews, 9 June 1999
http://www.spaceviews.com/1999/06/09a.html

For the third time in a little over a year, astronomers have found an
asteroid that has a very small, but non-zero, probability of impacting
the Earth next century.

Astronomers believe such impact probabilities as the one found for 1998
OX4 will become more commonplace in the future, though, as stepped-up
search efforts turn up more asteroids whose orbits bring them close to
Earth.

Italian astronomer Andrea Milani and colleagues reported the impact
probability at the end of the IMPACT conference in Torino, Italy,
earlier this month. They found that 1998 OX4, discovered last year at
the Spacewatch telescope in Arizona, has a 1-in-10 million chance of
hitting the Earth in January 2046.

This probability of impact is considerably less than the probability of
an impact in any given year by an undiscovered asteroid 1 km or greater
in diameter, so the discovery is of little more than academic
curiosity. Moreover, Milani and colleagues note that this probability
has yet to be confirmed by other researchers.

The discovery makes 1998 OX4 the third asteroid since last March which
has been found to have a small impact probability at some point in the
future. In April asteroid 1999 AN10 was found to have a 1-in-1 billion
chance of hitting the Earth in 2039. Later analysis changed that
probability to 1-in-10 million while uncovering another possible impact
with significantly greater odds -- 1-in-500,000 -- in 2044.

In March 1998 asteroid 1997 XF11 was briefly thought to have a small
possibility of impacting the Earth in 2029 [2028, BJP]. However, within
a day of the public announcement new data eliminated the possibility of
any impact in that year.

The astronomical community has debated the best was to disseminate
information about impact threats. Any such protocols will likely be
needed much more in the future, some believe, as increased asteroid
searches turn up new asteroids with similar impact probabilities.

"In contrast to XF11 and AN10, however, the vast majority of these PHAs
[potentially hazardous asteroids] will no longer be newsworthy due to
their minuscule chances of actual impact," noted Benny Peiser,
moderator of the Cambridge Conference Network, an electronic mailing
list used by asteroid researchers. "[P]ublic interest will only arise
in exceptional cases which prove to have significant impact risks."

Copyright 1999, SpaceViews

=================
(3) FRANK ZOLTOWSKI & ASTEROID 1999 AN10

From Linda Wong <tps@planetary.org>

NEWS RELEASE

The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106-2301 (626) 793-5100 Fax (626)
793-5528 E-mail: tps@mars.planetary.org  Web: http://planetary.org
<http://planetary.org/


For release: June 10, 1999
Contact: Susan Lendroth

Planetary Society Grant Recipient Tracks Intriguing NEO

Frank Zoltowski, a recipient of a Planetary Society Gene Shoemaker Near
Earth Object (NE0) grant, has helped determine the future orbits for
asteroid 1999 AN10, which is expected to pass within 39,000 kilometers
(about 24,000 miles) of Earth in 2027. The asteroid has excited great
interest since it has the potential to approach Earth even closer in
2044 and 2046. None of the close approaches are considered threatening.
 
An amateur astronomer, Zoltowski conducts a search for NEOs and
asteroids in the small town of Woomera in the South Australian outback.
The Planetary Society grant money enabled him to upgrade his CCD camera
to a more sophisticated system, improving his ability to detect NEOs and
do confirmation of their orbits.
 
"The performance of my new CCD is spectacular. With it I have been able
to get many objects  1999 AN10 included  that I wouldn't have had a
chance of imaging with my old CCD," said Zoltowski.
 
Zoltowski conducted followup observations of asteroid 1999 AN10 that
enabled researchers at the Minor Planet Center, the international
clearing house for data about asteroids and comets, to develop more
precise future orbital calculations for the object.  The NEO was first
discovered by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program,
which conducts sky searches using an Air Force telescope at the White
Sands Missile Range  in New Mexico. Researchers in Italy  Andrea
Milani, Steven Chesley and Giovanni Valsecchi established the
asteroid's initial orbital calculations.
 
When researchers in the northern hemisphere were no longer able to
track the object, Zoltowski in Australia was asked to track the
object's passage through the southern hemisphere.  He "recovered"
(found) 1999 AN10 in April, 1999.
 
The object has been a source of interest and concern since its orbit
intersects Earth's so closely.  However, researchers maintain that the
chances of 1999 AN10 actually striking Earth are extremely low.
 
Paul Chodas says on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory web site, "We have
developed a theory which successfully predicts the 25 possible
[nearEarth] returns [of 1999 AN10] up to 2040.  We have also identified
six more close approaches resulting from the cascade of successive
returns. Because of this extremely chaotic behavior, there is no way to
predict all possible approaches for more than a few decades after any
close encounter, but the orbit will remain dangerously close to the
orbit of the Earth for about 600 years."

================
(4) GENE SHOEMAKER NEAR EARTH OBJECT GRANTS

From Linda Wong <tps@planetary.org>

Named for one of the pioneers in the field, the Gene Shoemaker Near
Earth Object grant program was designed to fund astronomers engaged in
the search for nearearth objects, the sort of objects that could impact
the Earth in the future with devastating results.  Three recipients
received grant money this year: Frank Zoltowski, Stefan Gajdos of the
Slovak Republic, and Paulo Holvorcem of Brazil.
 
The purpose of the grant program is to increase the rate of discovery
and followup studies of asteroids and comets in the vicinity of Earth's
orbit.
 
Only about 5 to 10% of the estimated number of onekilometer or larger
objects in Earth's orbit have been found and tracked so far.  More than
300 NEOs have been discovered. Scientists estimate that there are a few
thousand NEOs larger than one kilometer, and there may be 150,000 to 100
million objects larger than 100 meters in size.
 
Grants are awarded to amateur observers, observers in developing
countries, and professional astronomers who, with seed funding, could
greatly increase their programs' contributions to this critical
research. All recipients are already working in the field of NEO
observation and research.
 
Gene Shoemaker, for whom the Society's grant program is named, was a
leading scientist in the study of impact craters on earth and elsewhere
in the solar system.
 
Funds for the Gene Shoemaker NEO Grants program come from the Planetary
Society's 100,000 worldwide members, whose voluntary dues and donations
permit targeted support to research and development programs.
 

For more information, contact Susan Lendroth at (626) 7935100 or by
email: tps.sl@mars.planetary..org
 
Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the Society in 1979
to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the
search for extraterrestrial life.  With 100,000 members in more than 140
countries,  the Society is the largest spaceinterest group in the world.

Linda Wong
The Planetary Society
65 N. Catalina Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Tel:  (626) 793-5100 
Fax:  (626) 793-5528
E-mail:  tps@planetary.org
Web:  http://planetary.org <http://planetary.org/

================
(5) JUPITER'S MOON GANYMEDE SURROUNDED BY AN IMPACT-GENERATED DUST CLOUD

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

Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics
Heidelberg, Germany

Contacts:
Harald Krueger
Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics
Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: (+49 62 21) 516 - 563
Fax: (+49 62 21) 516 - 324
krueger@galileo.mpi-hd.mpg.de

Eberhard Gruen
Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics
Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: (+49 62 21) 516 - 478
Fax: (+49 62 21) 516 - 324
Eberhard.Gruen@mpi-hd.mpg.de

Douglas P. Hamilton
Department of Astronomy
University of Maryland, USA
Phone: (+01 301) 405 - 1548
Fax: (+01 301) 314 - 9067
hamilton@astro.umd.edu

2-6-99

Jupiter's moon Ganymede surrounded by an impact-generated dust cloud

An international team of scientists lead by the Max-Planck-Institut
fuer Kernphysik in Heidelberg (Max Planck Institute of Nuclear
Physics), Germany, has found a cloud of dust grains surrounding
Jupiter's moon Ganymede which is the largest of the planet's four
Galilean satellites. Grains are kicked up from the moon's surface by
impacts of interplanetary meteoroids. These measurements, obtained with
the Heidelberg dust detector on board NASA's Galileo spacecraft, are
published in Nature on 10 June 1999. The authors present the first in
situ study of impact-generated dust in the vicinity of a source moon.
The research will lead to a better understanding of the processes that
form the ring systems surrounding all giant planets in our solar
system.

Dust pervades the solar system, being especially concentrated in the
ring systems surrounding the giant planets and along the plane of the
planetary orbits (the Zodiacal cloud). Individual dust grains are
thought to be generated when impacts of interplanetary meteoroids kick
up material from larger bodies, such as satellites. In these impacts
the meteoroids hit the surface so fast that they evaporate and explode,
causing puffs of debris to be ejected at such high speed that they can
leave the satellite's gravitational field. This is the first time that
in situ measurements of this important physical process have been made.

"For the first time we can investigate this important process in situ
which is an important mechanism for dust production in space," said Dr.
Harald Krueger, Heidelberg, lead author of the paper in Nature. "With
the dust instrument we measure impact directions, speeds and masses of
the grains. Our in situ measurements go one step further than optical
investigations made on the smaller moons because we can directly study
various physical parameters of the ejected particles. We have detected
similar dust clouds at two others of Jupiter's Galilean satellites,
Callisto and Europa, suggesting that they too are significant sources
of dust debris."

The Dust Detector System (DDS) on board Galileo detected the dust cloud
when the spacecraft flew by Ganymede within a few thousand kilometers.
The DDS instrument was built under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Eberhard
Gruen -- who is also co-author of the Nature paper -- at the
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik in Heidelberg, Germany, with
financial support from the German National Space Agency (DLR). "The
Galileo measurements are like a large impact experiment offered by
Nature," said Gruen. "They provide important improvements over
laboratory experiments because projectile and target materials and
projectile speeds are of astrophysical relevance."

"Our modelling indicates that the dust cloud is formed by hypervelocity
impacts of interplanetary dust onto Ganymede's surface," explains Dr
Alexander V. Krivov from St Petersburg University, Russia, who is also
involved in the research. ''A fraction of dust in the cloud leaves the
environment of the moon and is distributed into circumjovian space to
form a tenuous ring around Jupiter."

Recently, another team of scientists, analyzing data from Galileo's
cameras, have revealed structures in the ring system. "The structures
can most naturally be explained by impact-generated particles lofted
from Jupiter's small moons -- the same mechanism which we see here,"
says Dr Douglas P. Hamilton, College Park, MD, U.S.A., who is a co-author
of the Nature paper. Larger moons however, like Ganymede, are much
weaker sources of dust because of their stronger gravitational field
and the Ganymede dust cloud is by far too thin to be detectable with
Galileo's cameras.

Only with the high-sensitive Dust Detector System on board Galileo,
which measures dust grains hitting a 1000 cm2 gold target, could these
dust clouds be detected. In the case of the Ganymede cloud, the dust
concentration is so low that only one grain can be found in a cube with
20 meters on a side. Although the cloud is very interesting
scientifically, it does not cause a danger for the Galileo spacecraft.

Galileo has been orbiting Jupiter since December 1995, and has
currently completed three-forth of its two-year extension, known as the
Galileo Europa Mission. During its orbital tour around the planet the
spacecraft performs close fly-bys at Jupiter's Galilean satellites.
Galileo is operated for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which is
a division of Caltech, Pasadena, CA.

==================
(6) SURPRISE, SURPRISE: WE'RE NOT THE ONLY ONES DEBATING HOW TO HANDLE
    SCIENTIFIC DATA IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET

From YAHOO! NEWS, 10 June 1999
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/sc/story.html?s=v/nm/19990610/sc/health_research_4.html

Editor Bashes NIH Plan For Web Launch Of Research

BOSTON (Reuters) - The former editor-in-chief of the New England
Journal of Medicine said a proposal by the head of the National
Institutes of Health to publish all new biomedical research reports on
a Web site could be risky and misleading.

Dr. Harold Varmus, director of NIH, earlier this year announced a bold
proposal for his agency to sponsor the on-line publication of new
research reports on a site called E-biomed.

In an editorial in Thursday's edition of the Journal, former top editor
Dr. Arnold Relman argued that the publication of clinical research
without accompanying expert commentary and interpretation could lead to
mistakes, inaccuracies and misinterpretations.

"New clinical findings often attract wide public attention, and
patients need advice from their physicians on the relevance of such
findings to their own medical problems," Relman wrote.

"A system that allowed immediate electronic publication of new clinical
studies without the usual careful process of peer review and revision
would be risky at best and might well fill the clinical data bases with
misleading and inadequately evaluated information," he wrote.

If implemented, Relman said, the controversial plan could endanger the
livelihood of traditional publishers of scientific research, such as
the New England Journal. He said he did not believe that the functions
of such journals could be adequately replaced by E-biomed.

Relman said it is important that new findings be thoroughly reviewed,
not hastily published.

"The few weeks saved between acceptance and print publication would not
justify the confusion and misunderstanding that would often attend the
immediate electronic posting and subsequent publicizing of clinical
studies," he wrote.

Copyright 1999, Yahoo!News

================
(7) FIRST SUCCESSFUL ANTI-MISSILE INTERCEPT TEST

From MSNBC ONLINE, 10 June 1999
http://www.msnbc.com/news/278796.asp

THAAD shoots down a missile in major step forward

REUTERS

WASHINGTON, June 10 — The United States on Thursday destroyed a missile
with another missile high over New Mexico in the first successful
intercept test of its troubled "THAAD" anti-missile defense system, the
Pentagon said. "It was a successful intercept," Pentagon spokeswoman
Cheryl Irwin said.

FULL STORY at
http://www.msnbc.com/news/278796.asp

=================
(8) METEORS & COMETS: ASK THE ASTRONOMER

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

Dear Benny,

I have just come across: Dr. Odenwald's ASK THE ASTRONOMER page:
Meteors and Comets http://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/astro/ametcom.html

It has very good examples of explaining the impact threat to the public.

Michael Paine

===================
(8) AND FINALLY..... AS NATO WINS BALKAN WAR, BRITISH ARMY RATIONALISE
    INTERNATIONAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT

From Jonathan TATE <fr77@dial.pipex.com>

NEW ARMY OFFICIAL VOICE MAIL MESSAGE -

Thank you for calling the British Army. I'm sorry, but all of our units
are out at the moment, or are otherwise engaged. Please leave a message
with your country, name of organisation, the region, the specific
crisis, and a number at which we can call you. As soon as we have sorted
out the Balkans, Iraq, Northern Ireland, the Millennium Bug, marching up
and down bits of tarmac in London and compulsory Equal Opportunities
training, we will return your call.

Please speak after the tone, or if you require more options, please
listen to the following numbers:

If your crisis is small, and close to the sea, press 1 for the Royal
Marines.

If your concern is distant, with a tropical climate and good hotels, and
can be solved by 1 or 2 low risk bombing runs, please press 'Hash' for
the Royal Air Force. Please note this service is not available after
1630 hrs, or at weekends.

If your inquiry concerns a situation which can be resolved by a bit of
grey funnel, bunting, flags and a really good marching band, please
write, well in advance, to the First Sea Lord, The Admiralty, Whitehall.

If your inquiry is not urgent, please press 2 for the Allied Rapid
Reaction Corps.

If you are in real, hot trouble please press 3, and your call will be
routed to Sandline International.

Have a pleasant day, and thank you again for trying to contact the
British Army.

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CCCMENU CCC for 1999

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