PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet, 68/2000 -  13 June 2000
------------------------------


     "The largest robotic telescope so far is the 80-inch Liverpool
     Robotic Telescope, which is now under construction. It will be
     located in La Palma in the Canary Islands, and monitored from a
     control center 2000 miles away in the United Kingdom. 'It’s like
     having a space probe on the ground' Michael Bode of the Liverpool
     John Moores University told Space.Com. If an astronomer needs the
     telescope to look at something special that night, it can be
     re-programmed via the Internet to halt its planned observing
     schedule and go looking off in another direction. Bode’s goal is
     to ultimately build "RoboNet" six duplicate telescopes equally
     spaced around the globe. Tied together by the Internet, they would
     provide non-stop coverage of any unfolding celestial drama."
          -- Ray Villard, Space.com, 11 June 2000


     "Everything about the origin of life on earth is a mystery, and it
     seems the more that is known, the more acute the puzzles get."
           -- Nicolas Wade, The New York Times, 13 June 2000


(1) ROBOTIC TELESCOPES: THE FUTURE OF WHOLE SKY SURVEILLANCE
    Space.com, 11 June 2000

(2) LIFE'S ORIGINS GET MURKIER AND MESSIER
    The New York Times, 13 June 2000

(3) FIREBALL OBSERVED OVER COLORADO
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(4) FUGITIVES FRTOM THE EROS FAMILY
    V. Zappala et al., OSSERV ASTRON TORINO

(5) SIZE & SHAPE OF TROJAN ASTEROID (1437) DIOMEDES
    I. Sato et al., WATANABE TECHNOL LAB

(6) EARTH TROJAN ASTEROIDS
    P. Wiegert et al., YORK UNIVERSITY

(7) RADAR MICROMETEOR OBSERVATIONS
    D. Janches et al., PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

(8) WAVE DISTURBANCES FROM THE COMET SL-P IMPACTS ON JUPITER
    R.L. Walterscheid et al., AEROSP CORP

(9) EFFECTS OF COMETESIMAL COLLISIONS
    S. Sirono& J.M. Greenberg, HOKKAIDO UNIVERSITY

(10) GREAT BALL OF FIRE IN AUGUST 1571?
     Luz Santamarta <l_lmsl@hotmail.com>

(11) DEMILILITARIZED PLUTONIUM COULD BE USED FOR
     PLANETARY DEFENSE & SPACE EXPLORATION
     Mark Sonter <sonter@camtech.net.au>

(12) INSTANT ASTEROID DEATH A BLESSING COMPARED TO CONTINUING
     USE OF NUCLEAR POWER
     Russell D. Hoffman <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>


==========
(1) ROBOTIC TELESCOPES: THE FUTURE OF WHOLE SKY SURVEILLANCE

From Space.com, 11 June 2000
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/robotic_telescopes_000608.html

Robotic Telescopes Keep Universe Under Surveillance

By Ray Villard
                                                                
The nighttime sky looks deceptively tranquil. In reality it is alive
with a variety of brief but violent outbursts popping on and off like
July 4th fireworks. Stars explode in faraway galaxies and neutron stars
hiccup in a burst of radiation as they devour companion stars.
Mysterious blasts of gamma rays, possibly from collapsing black holes,
zap earth from deep space.

It’s a daunting task for astronomers to keep an eye on all these
spectacular but totally unpredictable happenings. Yet, they are
critical to understanding the most violent activities affecting our
universe.

Needle in the haystack

Catching sight of these so-called transient phenomena is like looking
for a needle in a haystack. An astronomer typically spends only a few
nights per year looking at a selection of predetermined celestial
targets. Aside from doing a tedious survey, coming across a cosmic
"flash-in-the-pan" has been largely good luck -- being at the right
place at the right time.

Enter the "robo-telecope" an autonomous, rapid response all-sky
monitor, where silicon not only replaces the human eye, but largely the
human brain. Like surveillance cameras in a department store,
robo-telescopes, sitting alone and untended on isolated mountain tops,
nightly patrol the sky, looking for any changes from the far corners of
the universe. They move quickly and precisely, relying on their own
onboard sky maps to prowl the heavens. The nightly flood of data is
automatically archived and analyzed to note any changes in the present
state-of-the universe.

Robo-telescopes are a boon to astronomers who want to catalog variable
stars. They are ideal for studying supernovae (exploding stars) as well
as the optical counterparts to gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful
explosions known in the universe. And a host of other elusive and
exotic phenomena are well suited to the robo-telescope concept.

Big bang of information for astronomers

The result has been a "big bang" of information for astronomers.
Research that required over a decade of meticulous and patient
observation can be now accomplished in a few months by these tireless,
efficient sky sentinels. The nightly sky harvest has yielded huge
databases of new phenomena that would have gone forever unnoticed by
traditional human-tended observing techniques.

Located at Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton near San Jose, CA, the
Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT) is an entirely autonomous
telescope dedicated to searching for supernovae in 1,000 galaxies
nightly. It also monitors a variety of other elusive celestial
phenomena.

"This is a huge revolution in astronomy, where massive data processing,
large format electronic imaging detectors (called charge-coupled
devices, or CCDs), and the Internet have all suddenly come together to
fundamentally change the way we explore the universe," said Jeffrey
Bloch of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

At Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton outside San Jose, Calif., a 30-inch
mirror robotic telescope called the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope
(KAIT) checks in on 1,000 galaxies every night. The telescope hunts for
an elusive prey -- the flicker of light from a star that has
self-destructed as a supernova. For a brief instant in the star’s life
it shines with the radiance of an entire galaxy.

Weather-check

Every night computers check the weather, automatically open the
observatory dome, point and focus the telescope and take digital
pictures. The images are sent via the Internet to a computer at the
University of California at Berkeley, where they are compared
automatically to earlier pictures of the same region of sky. Images
with new points of light are flagged so that the next morning
astronomers can double-check them and identify the best candidates.

Since it began operation in 1996, KAIT has pinpointed 70 supernovas in
galaxies within 500 million light years of earth. "KAIT finds
essentially all of the supernovas in the galaxies  we monitor. We are
surprised to find so many supernovas in such a short amount of time,"
says Alex Filippenko of UC Berkeley. 

Filippenko and colleagues are building a much better idea of how common
supernovas are, and how they vary in behavior. The supernovas are
invaluable for studying the origin of elements, and the expansion rate
of the universe.

Rapid-response sky hunter

Another rapid-respond sky hunter is the University of Michigan’s
Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE), consisting of four
telephoto photographic lenses mounted on CCDs. When a gamma-ray burst
goes off, its position as measured by a constellation of satellites is
automatically and instantly relayed to ROTSE. Within three seconds of
the receipt of this information ROTSE pivots to the target position,
and begins snapping off pictures to pinpoint the rapidly fading optical
fireball resulting from the burst.

The largest robotic telescope so far is the 80-inch Liverpool Robotic
Telescope, which is now under construction. It will be located in La
Palma in the Canary Islands, and monitored from a control center 2000
miles away in the United Kingdom. "It’s like having a space probe on
the ground" Michael Bode of the Liverpool John Moores University told
Space.Com. If an astronomer needs the telescope to look at something
special that night, it can be re-programmed via the Internet to halt
its planned observing schedule and go looking off in another direction.

Bode’s goal is to ultimately build "RoboNet" six duplicate telescopes
equally spaced around the globe. Tied together by the Internet, they
would provide non-stop coverage of any unfolding celestial drama. Such
a "whole earth" telescope could look for planets beyond the sun by
continuously monitoring the light from many stars simultaneously. A
subtle and transitory brightening of a star’s light would signal the
passage of an intervening planet.

Copyright 2000, Space.com

===================
(2) LIFE'S ORIGINS GET MURKIER AND MESSIER

From The New York Times, 13 June 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/061300sci-life-origins.html

Genetic Analysis Yields Intimations of a Primordial Commune

By NICHOLAS WADE

The surface of the earth is molten rock. The oceans are steam or
superheated water. Every so often a wandering asteroid slams in
with such energy that any incipient crust of hardened rock is melted
again and the oceans are reboiled to an incandescent mist.

Welcome to Hades, or at least to what geologists call the Hadean
interval of earth's history. It is reckoned to have lasted from the
planet's formation 4.6 billion years ago until 3.8 billion years ago,
when the rain of ocean-boiling asteroids ended.

The Isua greenstone belt of western Greenland, one of the oldest known
rocks, was formed as the Hadean interval ended. And amazingly, to judge
by chemical traces in the Isuan rocks, life on earth was already old.

Everything about the origin of life on earth is a mystery, and it seems
the more that is known, the more acute the puzzles get.

The dates have become increasingly awkward. Instead of there being
a billion or so years for the first cells to emerge from a warm
broth of chemicals, life seems to pop up almost instantly after
the last of the titanic asteroid impacts that routinely sterilized
the infant planet.

FULL STORY at:
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/061300sci-life-origins.html

==================
(3) FIREBALL OBSERVED OVER COLORADO

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

Eyeball On the Fireball: Meteorite Lights Up Colorado Night
By Andrew Bridges
space.com
09 June 2000

Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science are continuing
to interview eyewitnesses about a recent fireball that illuminated the
Colorado night, dazzling holiday campers with an explosive display of
nature's majesty.

The museum has recorded interviews with more than 200 people who
witnessed the bolide streak northward across the night sky before
exploding in a shower of sparks, perhaps showering meteorite fragments
across a forested, mountainous swath of the western state.

"Anyone who was out camping that weekend was blown away by the sight,"
said Laura Danly, the museum's space-science curator.

Full story here:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/fireball_colorado_000609.html

=======================
(4) FUGITIVES FROM THE EROS FAMILY

V. Zappala*), P. Bendjoya, A. Cellino, M. DiMartino, A. Doressoundiram,
A. Manara, F. Migliorini: Fugitives from the Eos family: First
spectroscopic confirmation. ICARUS, 2000, Vol.145, No.1, pp.4-11

*) OSSERV ASTRON TORINO,I-10025 PINO TORINESE,ITALY

The fact that some asteroids presently located in the 9/4 mean-motion
resonance with Jupiter could be ''Eos fugitives,'' that is, original
members of this asteroid family injected into the resonance and
experiencing a gradual eccentricity increase, was first suggested a few
years ago (Morbidelli, A., V. Zappala, M, Moons, A. Cellino, and R.
Gonczi 1995, Icarus 118, 132-154), We present here the results of a
campaign of spectroscopic observations of candidate Eos fugitives, and
we confirm that some of these objects should come from this family,
according to their observed spectral characteristics. We find also
indications that these objects are probably relatively young. We can
conclude that Eos fugitives are a first example of family objects
observed during the dynamical process of leaving the asteroid main
belt. The results confirm current ideas about the dynamics governing
bodies injected into the 9/4 resonance. This can be important also from
the point of view of a possible relationship between the Eos family and
CV/CO chondrites as suggested by spectral analogies. (C) 2000 Academic
Press.

=============
(5) SIZE & SHAPE OF TROJAN ASTEROID (1437) DIOMEDES

I. Sato*), L. Sarounova, H. Fukushima: Size and shape of Trojan
asteroid diomedes from its occultation and photometry. ICARUS, 2000,
Vol.145, No.1, pp.25-32

*) WATANABE TECHNOL LAB,SUNRIZE AKIMOTO BLDG 401,2-8-17
   KYONANCHO,MUSASHINO,TOKYO 1800023,JAPAN

The first Trojan asteroid occultation, the occultation of HIP 014402A
by (1437) Diomedes, was successfully observed from Japan on November 7,
1997, From its occultation timings at six sites including two video
observations, an elongated occultation silhouette of (180 +/- 28 km) x
(96 +/- 5 km), at position angle PA = 150 +/- 4 degrees was revealed.
Follow-up photometry of Diomedes obtained at Ondrejov on November 10
and 11 and at Mitaka on November 18, 19, and 24 revealed that its
rotation period is 1.019 +/- 0.004 days, its amplitude of light
variation is 0.70 +/- 0.15 mag, and its rotational phase at the
occultation was almost at a minimum of the lightcurve. From these
observations, a probability distribution ellipsoidal model for Diomedes
is derived, It shows that two families of ellipsoidal models are
possible. One is a triaxial ellipsoid of b/a approximate to 0.55; the
other is a rather prolate ellipsoid of b/a approximate to 0.4, c/b
approximate to 1. Possible orientation of the rotation axis is very
restricted to two great circles on the celestial sphere. Mean lengths
of the three principal axes of the model ellipsoid are (284 +/- 61 km)
x (126 +/- 35 km) x (65 +/- 24 km), i.e., approximately a : b : c
approximate to 4 :2: 1. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

======
(6) EARTH TROJAN ASTEROIDS

P. Wiegert*), K. Innanen, S. Mikkola: Earth Trojan asteroids: A study
in support of observational searches. ICARUS, 2000, Vol.145, No.1,
pp.33-43

*) YORK UNIVERSITY,DEPT PHYS & ASTRON,TORONTO,ON M3J 1P3,CANADA

Observational searches for asteroids orbiting near Earth's triangular
Lagrange points face unique obstacles. A population of such asteroids
would occupy a large projected area on the sky (possibly hundreds of
square degrees) and is not favorably placed with respect to the Sun.
Here we examine the properties of synthetic populations of Earth
''Trojans'' in order to aid in the optimization of observational
searches for them. We find that the highest on-sky projected number
densities are not located at the positions of the L-4 and L-5 points
themselves, but rather a few degrees closer to the Sun. Also, asteroids
on orbits about the L-4 and L-5 points typically brighten as the
difference between their ecliptic longitude and that of the Sun
increases owing to phase effects, but their number density on the sky
concurrently falls rapidly. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

==========
(7) RADAR MICROMETEOR OBSERVATIONS

D. Janches*), J.D. Mathews, D.D. Meisel, Q.H. Zhou: Micrometeor
observations using the Arecibo 430 MHz radar I. Determination of the
ballistic parameter from measured Doppler velocity and deceleration
results. ICARUS, 2000, Vol.145, No.1, pp.53-63

*) PENN STATE UNIVERSITY,COMMUN & SPACE SCI LAB,316 EE E,UNIVERSITY
   PK,PA,16802

We present a sample of radar meteors detected during the November 1997
Leonids shower period using the narrow-beam, high-power Arecibo
Observatory 430-MHz radar. During this period similar to 7700 events
were detected over 73 h of observations that included six mornings.
Near apex-crossing, 6-10 events per minute were observed in the similar
to 300-m diameter beam. From these events a total of 390 meteors are
characterized by a clear linear deceleration as derived from
the radial Doppler speed determined from the meteor-echo leading-edge
(head-echo). We interpret our results in terms of the meteor ballistic
parameter-the ratio of the meteoroid mass to cross-sectional
area-yielding a physical characterization of these particles prior to
any assumptions regarding meteoroid shape and mass density. In
addition, we compare these measurements with the results of a numerical
solution of the meteor deceleration equation and find them in good
agreement. The size and dynamical mass of the meteoroids are estimated
considering these particles to be spheres with densities of 3 g/cm(3).
We also discuss atmospheric energy-loss mechanisms of these meteroids.
We believe these are the first radar meteor decelerations detected
since those ones reported by J. V. Evans (1966, J. Geophys, Res. 71,
171-188) and F. Verniani (1966, J. Geophys, Res, 71, 2749-2761; 1973,
J. Geophys, Res, 78, 8429-8462) and the first ones for meteors of this
size. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

=========
(8) WAVE DISTURBANCES FROM THE COMET SL-9 IMPACTS ON JUPITER

R.L. Walterscheid*), D.G. Brinkman, G. Schubert: Wave disturbances from
the comet SL-9 impacts into Jupiter's atmosphere. ICARUS, 2000,
Vol.145, No.1, pp.140-146

*) AEROSP CORP,SPACE & ENVIRONM TECHNOL CTR,POB 92957,LOS
   ANGELES,CA,90009

Wave disturbances due to the Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL-9) cometary impacts
into Jupiter's atmosphere have been simulated with a fully compressible
(nonhydrostatic), time-dependent, nonlinear, axisymmetric, f-plane,
finite difference computational scheme, Energy is released in a
cylindrical region with a radius of 250 to 1000 km as suggested by
models of the reentry of impact ejecta following the initial explosion.
The model produces outward moving gravity waves at stratospheric
altitudes with speeds and relative amplitudes in agreement with
observations. The waves emerge from a cylindrical region of alternating
inflow and outflow that extends high into the atmosphere in the main
region of energy release, The disturbances originate as horizontally
propagating waves at the periphery of this region, thereby providing an
explanation for the observed large initial radius (similar to 450-700
km) of the main ring. The model results suggest that the waves are made
visible by the inflow of particulate impact debris into outward moving
rings of wave horizontal convergence. The inner edge of the extensive
clear zone outside of the main dark ring may be the divergence phase of
the leading fast wave. The results of this study remove the necessity
to invoke a stable, water-rich, wave-trapping layer in Jupiter's
atmosphere in order to understand the Comet SL-9 observations of dark
wave-like rings expanding radially away from the impact sites. (C) 2000
Academic Press.

============
(9) EFFECTS OF COMETESIMAL COLLISIONS

S. Sirono*), J.M. Greenberg: Do cometesimal collisions lead to bound
rubble piles or to aggregates held together by gravity? ICARUS, 2000,
Vol.145, No.1, pp.230-238

*) HOKKAIDO UNIV,DEPT EARTH & PLANETARY SCI,SAPPORO,HOKKAIDO
   060081,JAPAN

Although the collisions of cometesimals have been widely discussed in
the context of the so-called ''rubble-pile'' model of comet nuclei,
there has been little discussion of the physical consequences of
collisions between cometesimals, Here we calculate analytically the
compressive strength of grain aggregates which compose the cometesimals
and discuss possible consequences of collisions of cometesimals, It is
shown that  heterogeneity in density results from collisions between
cometesimals in a protoplanetary nebula and that the forces necessary
to separate the merged cometesimals are orders of magnitude larger than
gravitational attraction. Similarly, substantial compaction takes place
in the regions of the Kuiperbelt and the collisions result in
relatively tightly bound aggregates. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

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

(10) GREAT BALL OF FIRE IN AUGUST 1571?

From Luz Santamarta <l_lmsl@hotmail.com>

Dear Sir,

Let me introduce myself. I am a Spanish student who is doing
research work for Oviedo University in the field of English
History. In the develoment of my thesis, I have come across of
some information that states that at the beginning of August 1571
some people saw "a great circle of fire in the Heaven", I guess a
comet. I have already made this enquiry to your colleague Mr.
Robin Catchpole, who kindly has recommendmed me to get in contact
with you due that he has not found the information requested.
Therefore, I would like to ask you if there was any comet or
another phenomenon visible from the British Isles during those
days I have already mentioned.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

yours faithfully,

Luz Marķa Santamarta Lozano
Universidad de Oviedo
Spain

======================
(11) DEMILILITARIZED PLUTONIUM COULD BE USED FOR
     PLANETARY DEFENSE & SPACE EXPLORATION

From Mark Sonter <sonter@camtech.net.au>

Dear Benny,

With reference to Bob Kobres' posting regarding the Clinton - Putin
deal to demilitarize umpteen tonnes of plutonium:

This stuff should be used in nuclear rockets, for Impact Threat
defence, and for opening up the solar system to human visitation.

The NERVA design of the 1960's pumped hydrogen through a sealed high
temperature reactorcore, to achieve some tens of thousands of kilograms
(sorry, hundreds of thousands of Newtons) thrust, at Specific Impulse
of something like 800 seconds. This stuff actually ran, in several
ground based test-firings.

The Orion design proposed exploding bomblets behind a pusher plate:
read all about it in Freeman Dyson's "Disturbing the Universe". Their
motto was "Saturn by 1970", and they meant manned missions!!!.

Some years ago, the ever-fertile mind of Bob Zubrin proposed a "Nuclear
Salt-Water Rocket", fuelled by a few percent solution of U235-nitrate
or similar, with the solution (stored in a fuel tank intersected with
boron or cadmium plates to ensure subcritcality) pumped into a reaction
chamber where it is allowed to go critical and flash to 10 000 K
plasma, giving a Specific impulse of (maybe) 10 000 seconds and a
thrust of tens of thousands of Newtons.

Now, Carlos Rubbia of CERN has proposed another, vaguely similar
concept, again using fission products as the exhaust mass to give an
enormous Specific Impulse.

Point to note: if we want to be able to get to Mars in a few days
rather than six months, which is Rubbia's desire, OR if we want to be
able to get out to a threatening impactor on a cometary orbit, and
intercept it at a decent distance from Mother Earth, (the further away,
the lower the impulse requirement for successful deflection) then the
most energy density is available in nuclear fuel.

The requirement for high thrust AND high Isp (specific impulse) 
--which is what determines the delta-v capability of your rocket-- --
is only achievable via an exotic, very energetic, nuclear propulsion
method.

Mark Sonter

===============
(12) INSTANT ASTEROID DEATH A BLESSING COMPARED TO CONTINUING
     USE OF NUCLEAR POWER

From Russell D. Hoffman <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>

Re: CCNet, 64/2000 -  5 June 2000

      "Armageddon - triggered by an asteroid hurtling into our planet -
      is a genuine risk. Now some scientists are pressing the European
      Space Agency (Esa) to construct a satellite called Gaia which
      could pinpoint errant chunks of rock that threaten Earth. The
      probe - the most accurate telescope ever built - would track
      objects a kilometre or more in diameter, allowing scientists to
      predict their path years before their collision with our planet.
      Rocket-born nuclear bombs could then be launched to nudge them
      from their deadly paths."
             -- Robin McKie, The Observer

Dear Dr. Peiser:

Your opening quote (shown below) for Monday, June 5th, 2000's CCNet was
astounding. To realize to what extent the nuclear dream lives on would
be funny if it wasn't so dangerous.

While Robin McKie is dreaming of nudging big rocks with nuclear bombs
(while somehow managing not to disintegrate them into irradiated
chunks, thus creating a whole-Earth firestorm and subsequent
burnt-ember winter as the world's forests all incinerate at once,
real-life experience with nuclear materials for more than 50 years
indicates, over and over, that the mere process of mining,
transporting, purifying, transporting, molding and milling, and finally
transporting whatever to wherever is, in itself, a burden -- indeed, a
pox -- upon society. Who bears the burden of failures whilst waiting
for THE BIG ASTEROID, ever-and-again preparing nuclear solutions to
serious -- but solvable by many alternate methods -- problems? The
answer is we do. Our bodies do, in the form of cancer, leukemia, and
birth defects.

Energy? Nuclear Power Plants. War? Nuclear Intercontinental Ballistic
Missiles. Incoming ICBMs? Nuclear-powered lasers. Asteroids? Nuclear
Bombs. Cancer caused by all these other "solutions"? Why, you've got a
nuclear solution for that too: Chemotherapy and other radiation
treatments, which are closing-the-door-after-the-horse-has-left-the-barn
sorts of solutions in the first place (cancer prevention is a far
better practice) and which are often totally ineffective, and add a
radiological burden to the rest of society as the waste products and
byproducts of these treatments enter the human eco-stream.

For this particular case, your solution to an approaching doomsday
asteroid, one that's just a certain size -- bigger, and there would be
nothing we could do about it, smaller, and we could use other methods
to solve the problem -- but for that perfect asteroid for which you
want to support the entire Nuclear Mafia and the Demon Hot Atom, try
this: Get to it sooner, nudge it more gently but over a longer period
of time, and expect it to miss us by mere inches.  Move the entire
human and animal population away from the impact zone.

Indeed, I have fought all my life for just the tools to allow us to do
those very things. For example, for decades I have advocated a
permanently-staffed moon base, from where the heavens could be closely
studied, so we could anticipate these things sooner. It could also
serve as a "starter colony" for human life should Earth become
uninhabitable for a few years or even centuries (however, if it becomes
a nuclear wasteland, it will have to be abandoned for a good deal
longer than that). And I have advocated for greatly increased use of
public transportation systems, which could be used to move large
populations away from impact zones quickly and efficiently.

The question, then, is what is the most efficient way to reduce the
dangers from asteroids?

Perhaps it is best that we nudge asteroids lightly, not breaking them
up for others to have to deal with the pieces, at least some of which
will spread out at terrific speeds from the original trajectory and
from the other pieces after even a "small" nuclear blast. Instead we
need to nudge them for longer periods, in non-nuclear ways. We can
choose to nudge things either way, either or both systems could be
implemented, and humanity has many choices. It's worth trying the
non-nuclear solution, because the nuclear solutions we continually
embrace are choking this planet to death -- it can be fairly argued
that a nearly instant asteroid death would be a blessing in comparison
to what is being done here spill by spill, dilution by dilution,
leakage by leakage, drop by drop. There is No Minimum Dose, and
humanity suffers daily from the effects of choosing the nuclear
"solution" to each problem we face.

Sincerely,

Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, California

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CCCMENU CCC for 2000

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