PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet DIGEST 26 June 1998
------------------------


     THE GOD OF THE BIBLE: A WINO?
     AN EXCERPT FROM A COSMOLOGICAL CONTROVERSY: HAWKING VS TIPLER  

     "Similarly for the word 'God.' If He is identified with the Omega
     Point, then the key religious meanings of 'God' are retained, with
     science and religion integrated. [...] the German theologian
     Wolfhart Pannenberg (who has been called one of the three greatest
     theologians of the 20th century) agrees that the Omega Point is in
     all essentials the God of the Bible. It's easier for a German
     theologian to come to this conclusion than an English speaker.
     God's Name, given in Exodus 3:14, was translated by Martin Luther
     as "ICH WERDE WEIN, DER ICH WEIN WERDE" (Cosmologist Frank
     Tipler in his response to Stephen Hawking's criticism in the     
     current issue of SKEPTIC, 6:1 1998, p. 21) [For readers unfamilar 
     with the German language I should perhaps add that Tipler's
     translation means "I WILL BE WINE, WHO THAT WILL BE WINE."]



(1) CONGRATULATIONS, ELEANOR! LEADING NEO RE-SEARCHER NAMED TO WOMEN IN
    TECHNOLOGY HALL OF FAME
    Ed Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

(2) LIFE EXTINCTIONS BY COSMIC RAY JETS
    Rolf Sinclair/NSF Physics Division <rsinclai@nsf.gov>

(3) METEORITES, THE RARITY OF CHONDRULES & THE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM
    D.W.G. Sears, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

(4) LARGE KUIPER BELT OBJECTS
    D. Jewitt et al., UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

(5) INVERSION OF SHAPE STATISTICS FOR SMALL SOLAR SYSTEM BODIES
    K. Muinonen*) & J.S.V. Lagerros, ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY UPPSALA

(6) SEARCH FOR AQUEOUSLY ALTERED MATERIALS ON ASTEROIDS
    M.A. Barucci et al., PARIS OBSERVATORY

(7) A SKEPTIC'S VIEW OF POTENTIAL CLIMATE CHANGE
    S.B. Idso, US WATER CONSERVAT LAB


======================
(1) CONGRATULATIONS, ELEANOR! LEADING NEO RE-SEARCHER NAMED TO WOMEN IN
    TECHNOLOGY HALL OF FAME

From Ed Grondine <epgrondine@hotmail.com>

Benny -

Ron Baalke from JPL sent this announcement about Dr. Eleanor Helin out
to the meteorite list this afternoon, and my guess is that you will be
getting a copy of it shortly. Interviews with Dr. Helin may be found at

http://cnn.com/TECH/9707/31/asteroid.threat.html

and

http://www.abcnews.com/sections/science/DailyNews/asteroid980429.html

It is known that Dan Goldin has set a goal of finding qualified women
to bring into management roles at NASA. If the quotes in the articles
are representative, it looks like Dr. Pilcher will have another
very well qualified candidate to consider as head of the new program.

Additionally, as a practicing asteroid searcher Dr. Helin appears to be
completely comfortable with the MPC, fellow astronomers, and the Air
Force.

                                   Best wishes -
                                       Ed
-------------------

From Ron Baalke <BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov>

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Mary Beth Murrill                        

ASTEROID FINDER NAMED TO WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY HALL OF FAME

Asteroid finder and astronomer Eleanor F. Helin of NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, has been named to the Women in
Science and Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame, an award that
honors women in science and technology worldwide.

Helin will be honored at ceremonies to be held Thursday, June 25, at 7
p.m., during the WITI 1998 Technology Summit in Santa Clara, CA.  The
largest-ever conference of top women in technology, the WITI 1998
Technology Summit will draw more than 3,500 technologists and
scientists from around the world. WITI Hall of Fame was launched in
1996 to recognize, honor, and promote the outstanding contributions
women make to the scientific and technological communities and society
at large. Inductees are chosen by an independent panel of judges.

Donna Shirley, manager of JPL's Mars Exploration Program, was inducted
into the WITI Hall of Fame last year, and is a featured speaker at
Thursday's ceremonies.

Helin has been active in planetary science and astronomy for more than
three decades at the California Institute of Technology and JPL, a
division of Caltech managed for NASA. She is the principal investigator
for the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program, a collaborative
effort of NASA, JPL and the U.S. Air Force which has already detected
more than 26,000 objects including 30 near-Earth asteroids.

In the early 1970s, Helin initiated the Palomar Planet-Crossing
Asteroid Survey from Caltech's Palomar Observatory in Southern
California, resulting in the discovery of thousands of asteroids of all
types including 100 near-Earth asteroids and 20 comets.  One of the
most significant discoveries was that of asteroid 2026 Aten, the first
asteroid found to have an orbit smaller than the Earth.  Another of her
asteroid discoveries, KD 1992, was recently named the new target for a
flyby by to be conducted in July 1999 by the NASA/JPL Deep Space 1
spacecraft, due for launch this November.

Helin is a recipient of NASA's Exceptional Service Medal and the 1997
JPL Award for Excellence for her leadership of the NEAT program.  The
International Astronomical Union named asteroid 3267 Helin in her
honor.  Helin and her husband reside in Thousand Oaks, CA.

==================
(2) LIFE EXTINCTIONS BY COSMIC RAY JETS

From Rolf Sinclair/NSF Physics Division <rsinclai@nsf.gov>

Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 13:57:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: physnews@aip.org (AIP listserver)
To: physnews-mailing@aip.org
Subject: update.379

PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News Number 379
June 25, 1998   by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein

LIFE EXTINCTIONS BY COSMIC RAY JETS.  Several reasons have been put
forward to explain past periods of mass extinction on the Earth.  An
asteroid, for example, is thought to have killed off the dinosaurs in
the Cretaceous/Tertiary era 60 million years ago. A new theory by
physicists at the Technion in Israel suggests that jets of cosmic rays
coming from the collapse of neutron stars or the merger of two such
stars could initiate a lethal batch of muons in our atmosphere.  They
argue that the ensuing ionizing radiation might have affected the
biosphere in two ways---by killing many species outright and by causing
the sort of mutations that might result in the abrupt appearance of
many new species in the aftermath of the of the jet event. 
Furthermore, the coming of the cosmic rays might be heralded a few days
before by the arrival of a gamma ray burst (GRB), presumably from the
same energetic source.  The mechanism behind GRBs is itself now the
subject of intense astronomical scrutiny. Arnon Dar et al., Physical
Review Letters, 29 June; Arnon Dar, arnon@physics. technion.ac.il,
011-972-4-829-3529; science journalists can obtain the article from
AIP.)

==================
(3) METEORITES, THE RARITY OF CHONDRULES & THE EARLY SOLAR SYSTEM

D.W.G. Sears: The case for rarity of chondrules and
calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions in the early solar system and some
implications for astrophysical models. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 1998,
Vol.498, No.2 Pt1, pp.773-778

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS, COSMOCHEM GRP, DEPT CHEM & BIOCHEM,
FAYETTEVILLE, AR, 72701

The high-temperature materials in chondritic meteorites, the chondrules
(silicate spherules produced by hash heating) and refractory inclusions
(the CAI, or calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions), have been used to place
major constraints on astrophysical models for the early solar system.
Among the meteorites falling to Earth, the CAI are rare, being only 15%
by volume of a class that constitutes 0.84% of observed falls, however
chondrules are ubiquitous. Here it is pointed out similar to 96% of the
meteorites entering the atmosphere contain few or no chondrules because
atmospheric passage destroys such meteorites 1000 times more
effectively than the tougher chondrule-rich material. Furthermore, the
mechanisms for transferring meteorites from the asteroid belt to Earth
do not sample the belt representatively, so that even the 4% of
chondrule-rich material entering the atmosphere may be an overestimate.
Most asteroids have surfaces resembling meteorite classes that are
chondrule-poor or chondrule-free. Foreign clasts in meteorites, which
are an independent sampling of asteroidal material, usually resemble
chondrule-poor or chondrule-free carbonaceous chondrites. Cosmic-ray
ages and gas-retention ages for meteorites indicate that most stony
meteorites are coming from just a few asteroids. A strong case can thus
be made that chondrules and CAI were rare in the inner solar system
during planet and planetesimal formation and that they do not provide a
strong constraint on astrophysical ideas for the evolution of the early
solar nebula. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

==================
(4) LARGE KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

D. Jewitt*), J. Luu, C. Trujillo: Large Kuiper Belt objects: The Mauna
Kea 8K CCD survey. ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 1998, Vol.115, No.5,
pp.2125-2135

*) UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, INST ASTRON, 2680 WOODLAWN DR, HONOLULU, HI,
   96822

We describe a large-area ecliptic survey designed to assess the
sky-plane surface density of bright Kuiper Belt objects. We used an
8192 x 8192 pixel CCD mosaic to image 51.5 deg(2) to a 50% detection
threshold red magnitude m(R) = 22.5. Thirteen new Kuiper Belt objects
were identified in the survey, including some of the brightest and,
presumably, largest known examples. We use Monte Carlo models to assess
the effects of observational bias in our survey and to examine (1) the
size distribution of bright objects in the Kuiper Belt, (2) the
possible existence of a cutoff in the size distribution at large radii,
(3) the intrinsic ratio of Plutinos to nonresonant (''classical'')
Kuiper Belt objects, (4) the intrinsic ratio of populations in the 3:2
and 2:1 mean motion resonances, and (5) the radial extent of the Kuiper
Belt. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

==================
(5) INVERSION OF SHAPE STATISTICS FOR SMALL SOLAR SYSTEM BODIES

K. Muinonen*) & J.S.V. Lagerros: Inversion of shape statistics for
small solar system bodies. ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.333,
No.2, pp.753-761

*) ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY, BOX 515, S-75120 UPPSALA, SWEDEN

The irregular shapes of small solar system bodies are modelled by
lognormal statistics, i.e., assuming that the shapes are realisations
of the so-called Gaussian random sphere. The Gaussian sphere is fully
described by the mean radius and the covariance function of the
logarithmic radius. The stochastic shape is thus given by the
covariance function, or the discrete spectrum of its Legendre
coefficients. A maximum likelihood estimator is here provided for
inverting the covariance function from three-dimensional sample shapes.
The inverse method is applied to sophisticated shape data on altogether
14 small solar system bodies: the asteroids 4 Vesta, 243 Ida, 951
Gaspra, 1620 Geographos, 4179 Toutatis, and 4769 Castalia; the Martian
satellites Phobos and Deimos; the Jovian satellite Amalthea; the
Saturnian satellites Hyperion, Epimetheus, Janus, and Prometheus; and
the Neptunian satellite Proteus. Inversion yields sigma = 0.245 for the
relative standard deviation of radius, shows that most of the spectral
power lies in the second-degree spherical harmonics, and gives Gamma =
32.7 degrees for the correlation angle. Even though the first results
are promising, caution is recommended because the number of sample
shapes is still small. Omitting one sample shape at a time and
repeating the inversion shows that the results are not too sensitive to
any one sample shape. As an example application, thermal light curves
are simulated for 1000 Gaussian sample spheres in order to study the
uncertainties in diameters and masses derived for asteroids. As
compared to the Standard Thermal Model that assumes spherical
asteroids, the irregular shape is shown to cause a 5 % systematic
effect with 10 % scatter in diameter estimation whereas, in mass
estimation, the respective numbers are larger at 17 % and 33 %.
Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.

===================
(6) SEARCH FOR AQUEOUSLY ALTERED MATERIALS ON ASTEROIDS

M.A. Barucci*), A. Doressoundiram, M. Fulchignoni, M. Florczak,
M. Lazzarin, C. Angeli, D. Lazzaro: Search for aqueously altered
materials on asteroids. ICARUS, 1998, Vol.132, No.2, pp.388-396

*) PARIS OBSERVATORY, F-92195 MEUDON, FRANCE

The analysis of visible and near-infrared reflectance spectra of
C-class objects has revealed the presence of features that appear to
indicate a history of aqueous alteration on their surfaces. This result
can provide constraints on our understanding of the early Solar System.
We have recorded spectra covering 0.48-0.92 mu m for 29 C-class objects
with orbital semimajor axes between 2.3 and 3.6 AU, About 70% of the
observed objects show features produced as the result of aqueous
alteration processes. (C) 1998 Academic Press.

===================
(7) A SKEPTIC'S VIEW OF POTENTIAL CLIMATE CHANGE

S.B. Idso: CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential
climate change. CLIMATE RESEARCH, 1998, Vol.10, No.1, pp.69-82

US WATER CONSERVAT LAB, 4331 E BROADWAY, PHOENIX, AZ, 85040

Over the course of the past 2 decades, I have analyzed a number of
natural phenomena that reveal how Earth's near-surface air temperature
responds to surface radiative perturbations. These studies all suggest
that a 300 to 600 ppm doubling of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration
could raise the planet's mean surface air temperature by only about 0.4
degrees C. Even this modicum of warming may never be realized, however,
for it could be negated by a number of planetary cooling forces that
are intensified by warmer temperatures and by the strengthening of
biological processes that are enhanced by the same rise in atmospheric
CO2 concentration that drives the warming. Several of these cooling
forces have individually been estimated to be of equivalent magnitude,
but of opposite sign, to the typically predicted greenhouse effect of a
doubling of the air's CO2 content, which suggests to me that little net
temperature change will ultimately result from the ongoing buildup of
CO2 in Earth's atmosphere. Consequently, I am skeptical of the
predictions of significant CO2-induced global warming that are being
made by state-of-the-art climate models and believe that much more work
on a wide variety of research fronts will be required to properly
resolve the issue. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information
Inc.

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