PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 95/2001 - 30 August 2001
------------------------------


"The point from that is that the NASA Spaceguard goal (of 90 percent
of inner solar system asteroids larger than 1 km), which many people have
criticized as being not ambitious enough, may in fact be overdoing it.
Think carefully about the figures. Once one has found three-quarters of
such objects then one has 60 percent of the hazard tied up (that is,
three-quarters of 80 percent), with 20 percent of the hazard still available
for attack by present means (80 minus 60): the brighter asteroids in inner
solar system orbits, being found by relatively small telescopes. But
that 20 percent is equalled by the 20 percent of the hazard (by my
assumed figures) posed by Damocloids and active comets: objects on
moderate-to long-period orbits that must be found on their apparition of
impact when they are still at least beyond Saturn, and so in essence
all are dark. This requires a deep, at least annual search of the whole sky
with apertures of at least three metres, and preferably more. That is
what needs to be done to make the biggest inroads into the hazard, once
75 percent of the larger inner solar system Earth-crossing asteroids have
been found."
--Duncan Steel, Salford University, 30 August 2001


"Our studies in southern China have revealed a remarkable sulfur and
strontium isotope excursion at the end of the Permian, along with a
coincident concentration of impact- metamorphosed grains and kaolinite
and a significant decrease in manganese, phosphorous, calcium, and
microfossils (foraminifera). These data suggest that an asteroid or a comet
hit the ocean at the end of Permian time and caused a rapid and massive
release of sulfur from the mantle to the ocean-atmosphere system,
leading to significant oxygen consumption, acid rain, and the most
severe biotic crisis in the history of life on Earth."
--Kunio Kaiho et al, Geology: Vol. 29, No. 9, 2001


=================
(1) DAMN THOSE DAMOCLOIDS
    Duncan Steel <D.I.Steel@salford.ac.uk>

(2) COMET-BOUND SPACECRAFT SAVED AGAIN
    Space.com, 28 August 2001

(3) METEORITE HUNT IS ON IN COLORADO
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(4) EXPERTS GET LOTS OF AID IN COLORADO METEORITE HUNT
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(5) EARTH'S LIGHT SHOW IS A CLUE TO FINDING HABITABLE NEIGHBOURS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(6) WEIRED CHEMISTY: RADIATION-DRIVEN REACTIONS ON JUPITER'S MOONS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(7) END-PERMIAN CATASTOPHE BY COSMIC IMPACT
    Kunio Kaiho, et al.
 
(8) DEVELOPMENT OF A TARGET MARKER FOR LANDING ON ASTEROIDS
    Sawai S, et al.

(9) THE ARCETRI NEO PRECOVERY PROGRAMME
    Boattini A, et al.

(10) PHOTEMETRIC OBSERVATIONS OF 9 NEOS
    Szabo GM, et al.

(11) GROUNDBASED INVESTIGATIONS OF ASTEROID 9969
     Lazzarin M, et al.

(12) DETERMINATION OF ASTEROID MASSES
     Michalak G

(13) DYNAMICAL CAUSES OF ASYMMETRY IN THE ARRANGEMENTS OF GAPS IN THE
ASTEROID BELT
     Markeev AP

(14) THE SIZE-FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE ZODIACAL CLOUD
     Grogan K, et al.

(15) THE ROTATION AXIS OF THE CENTAUR 5145 PHOLUS
     Farnham TL

(16) THE PUZZLING CASE OF THE NYSA-POLANA FAMILY
     Cellino A, et al.

(17) FORMATION OF MESOSIDERITES
     Edward RDS, et al.

(18) A PAIR OF RESONANT PLANETS
     Marcy GW. et al.

(19) RE: FROM MARS TO EARTH IN A METEORITE?
     Jeff Foust <jeff@spacetoday.net>

(20) AND FINALLY: "MASTER CLASS ON ASTEROID GODDESS"
     Boston Globe, 28 August 2001


==========
(1) DAMN THOSE DAMOCLOIDS

>From Duncan Steel <D.I.Steel@salford.ac.uk>

Dear Benny,

In CCNet dated 2001 August 28 you carried an interesting item from
astronomy.com by Vanessa Thomas concerning the newly-discovered 'Damocloid'
2001 OG108, likely the largest known Earth-crossing asteroid. I'd like to
make a few comments about the significance of this and similar objects; that
is, Earth-crossing asteroids on Halley-type orbits. The high inclination of
this object (80 degrees) adds weight to the conviction that it may well be
an extinct (or dormant) comet. That in turn leads to an idea that the albedo
is low (a few percent) and so the size in somewhat larger than would be
calculated based on typical asteroidal albedos, as Ted Bowell suggested: 15
km or maybe more. To tie this down it would be useful if thermal infra-red
observations could be made as the object get closer to the Sun, rendering
the albedo and hence the size. Similarly a cometary nature - cometary
outgassing activity, I mean - might be indicated by high spatial resolution
imaging showing a coma, or high spectral resolution observations showing
emission lines.

Let me compliment the LONEOS team on their interesting discovery. There is
more to it than that, though. Two Damocloids are now known with
Earth-crossing orbits, this one and 1999 XS35, the latter being 1-2 km in
size (absolute magnitude H=17.2). Both have been found by LONEOS. Given that
LONEOS discovers only a small fraction of all NEOs (due to the high
productivity of LINEAR, NEAT and Spacewatch, rather than any fault of
LONEOS), this requires an explanation unless one puts it down to chance.
There are of course various other Damocloids with perihelia outside the
terrestrial orbit (such as 1996 PW found by NEAT, and 1997 MD10, 1998 QJ1,
2000 AB229, 2000 DG8, 2001 QF6 and (20461) 1999 LD31 found by LINEAR, and
(15504) 1999 RG33 found by the Catalina Sky Survey, and 2000 VU2 found by
W.K. Yeung, plus 2000 HE46 found by LONEOS: see
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Others.html), but the fact remains that
it is LONEOS that has turned up the two Earth-crossers amongst them all.

Let us step back a decade. After we found Damocles at the Anglo-Australian
Observatory in 1991 (it was actually Rob McNaught who spotted it, as 1991
DA, on a photographic plate taken using the UK Schmidt Telescope), we
predicted that awaiting discovery there must be many dark asteroids on
elongated, comet-like orbits crossing the path of the Earth. It is nice to
see that prediction being borne out at last, even if they do pose a worrying
danger to us. (5335) Damocles itself has a present orbit that comes sunwards
only so far as to just overlap the aphelion distance of
Mars, but its orbital instability is obvious (see, for example, D.J. Asher,
M.E. Bailey, G. Hahn & D.I. Steel, 'Asteroid 5335 Damocles and its
implications for cometary dynamics,' Monthly Notices of the Royal
Astronomical Society, 267, 26-42, 1994), and so the name given it should
not be surprising to anyone knowing the story of the Sword of Damocles.

Based solely on the existence of Damocles, David Asher and I suggested that
perhaps ten percent of the large-body (>1-km) impact hazard might be due to
dark Halley-type asteroids:

D.I. Steel & D.J. Asher, 'The past and future orbit of (extinct
comet?) 1991 DA,'  pp.65-73 in Periodic Comets (eds. J.A. Fernandez & H.
Rickman), Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay, 1992.

Damocles itself, though, is large (H=13.3, much the same as the H=13.0 of
2001 OG108). Asher and I were working on the assumption that some form of
usual mass distribution would rule among Damocloids, with much larger
numbers of smaller objects yet unseen. Both the LONEOS discoveries in
question are rather larger than the norm for present NEO discoveries, 2001
OG108 very much so. One might then suggest that this is because LONEOS has a
small aperture (limiting discoveries to brighter objects), but its wide
field explains why the other programmes have not turned up
similar objects. However, if indeed there are many smaller (<2-km)
Earth-crossing Damocloids then one might expect the search projects using
larger apertures (LINEAR, NEAT, Spacewatch) to have turned some of them up.
One wonders, then, whether they do exist; or is there some systematic
selection effect that is stopping the other searches from detecting them?
Let me caution again, though, that this is based on a statistic of just two
objects. On the other hand, all the Damocloids known are large (bigger than
2 km, most much larger).

The existence or otherwise of a significant population of (say) 0.3 to 2 km
dark asteroids in Halley-type orbits is an important one from the
perspective of planetary defence. For the sake of argument, let us assume
that the above given proportion of the impact hazard due to these Damocloids
(10 percent) is broadly correct. There are arguments over the proportion due
to active comets, long-period or otherwise, but again 10 percent is in the
right ballpark. Together those make 20 percent, leaving 80 percent as being
the contribution of asteroids in inner solar system orbits. I won't worry
about renormalisation: the figures are hazy, and if we knew the real figures
then we'd know a lot more than we do now.

The point from that is that the NASA Spaceguard goal (of 90 percent of inner
solar system asteroids larger than 1 km), which many people have criticized
as being not ambitious enough, may in fact be overdoing it. Think carefully
about the figures. Once one has found three-quarters
of such objects then one has 60 percent of the hazard tied up (that is,
three-quarters of 80 percent), with 20 percent of the hazard still available
for attack by present means (80 minus 60): the brighter asteroids in inner
solar system orbits, being found by relatively small telescopes. But that 20
percent is equalled by the 20 percent of the hazard (by my assumed figures)
posed by Damocloids and active comets: objects on moderate-to long-period
orbits that must be found on their apparition of impact when they are still
at least beyond Saturn, and so in essence all are dark. This requires a
deep, at least annual search of the whole sky with apertures of at least
three metres, and preferably more. That is what needs to be done to make the
biggest inroads into the hazard, once 75 percent of the larger inner solar
system Earth-crossing asteroids have been found. The time is upon us.

One might argue that this is applying a lot of leverage to a handful of
discoveries. The counter-argument is that the spotting of even these few
dark Damocloids is a strong indicator of our lack of knowledge of the
hazardous objects in the solar system. We must know more. We are 
dangerously ignorant.

Finally I note that the existence of large objects like 2001 OG108 on
Earth-crossing orbits must lead to a re-assessment of the expected frequency
of impacts of sufficient energy to cause a mass extinction event.

Duncan Steel

=============
(2) COMET-BOUND SPACECRAFT SAVED AGAIN

>From Space.com, 28 August 2001
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/ds1_fix_010828-1.html

By Robin Lloyd
Science Editor
 
NASA engineers have fixed a navigational glitch on the agency's Deep Space 1
(DS1) probe after it was buffeted by solar weather, and the spacecraft
remains on track for an attempted flyby of a comet next month.

The ion-propelled spacecraft lost focus on the stars it uses for navigation
on Tuesday, Aug. 21, sending DS1 somewhat off course for nearly three days.
Engineers suspect that a gust of ionized particles from the Sun blurred the
vision on a science camera DS1 now uses for navigation, throwing the probe
off craft.

If you think of a clock with its hands at noon to represent the correct
pointing direction for the spacecraft, the error caused by the glitch would
amount to pointing the craft at 15 seconds after noon, said DS1 Project
Manager Marc Rayman.

"It wasn't a gross error, but given that the field of view of science camera
is very narrow and you have tight tolerances when flying a spacecraft, that
was a big error for us," Rayman said.

Contrary to some media reports, the trouble was fixed in time for a planned
initial observation of the probe's ultimate goal -- Comet Borrelly, which
DS1 will attempt to fly by on Sept. 22.

Copyright 2001, Space.com

============
(3) METEORITE HUNT IS ON IN COLORADO

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

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E122416,00.html

Meteoric hunt is on for source of fireball
By Ann Schrader
Denver Post

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - A fireball that lit up a wide swath of the
Western sky on Aug. 17 was big, noisy - and it's missing.

Not missing, really; it just hasn't been found. Scientists from the Denver
Museum of Nature & Science are on its hot trail, but they need a little help
in pinpointing where it landed in Colorado.

The meteorite hunters have some clues about the blazing piece of celestial
debris that was visible from Idaho to New Mexico: It was an estimated 40
times brighter than a full moon; it may have weighed about a ton when it
entered the atmosphere; it was moving at 11.25 miles per second; and it
boomed and crackled.

>From eyewitness interviews, Murphy and two other museum researchers have
pegged landfall in a 100-mile-square area in the eastern La Garita Mountains
in Saguache County in the Rio Grande National Forest.

Full story here:
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E122416,00.html

=============
(4) EXPERTS GET LOTS OF AID IN COLORADO METEORITE HUNT

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

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E124425,00.html

Experts get lots of aid in finding meteorite
By Ann Schrader
Denver Post

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - From a new round of witnesses to a
self-described "meteorite junkie," hundreds of Coloradans are following the
hunt for the brilliant fireball that slammed into the state on Aug. 17.

More than 150 people called or sent e-mails to the geology department at the
Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Tuesday claiming to have seen the
meteor after The Denver Post published a story about the search for the
space debris. The meteorite is believed to have landed somewhere in a
mountainous 100 square miles between Creede and Saguache.

Full story here:
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E124425,00.html

===========
(5) EARTH'S LIGHT SHOW IS A CLUE TO FINDING HABITABLE NEIGHBOURS

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

News from PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

Contact:
Steven Schultz, (609) 258-5729, sschultz@princeton.edu

August 29, 2001

Earth's light show is a clue to finding habitable neighbors

Viewed from a star in some other corner of the galaxy, Earth would be a
speck, a faint blue dot hidden in the blazing light of our sun.

Would there be any hint of that speck's amazing diversity of life? According
to a paper in the Aug. 30 issue of Nature, a savvy alien would find at least
one important clue: an interesting flicker in the pale blue light.

While our neighbors Venus and Mars would reflect a fairly even glow, Earth
would put on a little show. Earth's light would brighten and dim as it
spins, because oceans, deserts, forests and clouds -- which are all too
small to be seen from such a distance -- reflect varying amounts of
sunlight. The variations, it turns out, are so strong and distinctive that a
surprising amount of information could be taken from a simple ebb and flow
of light.

Scientists at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study
conducted a detailed study of Earth's reflections not for insights into an
alien's view of our home planet, but as a way for human scientists to learn
about distant planets that may be like our own. They are participating in
the early planning for a NASA mission known as the Terrestrial Planet
Finder, a space probe that will scan the skies for planets hospitable to
life.

"If you looked at our solar system from far away, and you looked at the
terrestrial planets -- Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars -- one of the quickest
ways to see that Earth is unique is by looking at the light curve," said Ed
Turner, professor of astrophysics and a co-author of the study. "Earth has
by far the most complicated light curve."

Eric Ford, a graduate student, and Sara Seager, a member of the Institute
for Advanced Study, developed the idea in collaboration with Turner.

The standard thinking in the field had been that most of the information
about an Earth-like planet would come from spectral analysis, a static
reading of the relative component of different colors within the light,
rather than a reading of changes over time. Spectral analysis would reveal
the presence of gasses such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and oxygen, in
the planet's atmosphere.

Looking at the change in light over time does not replace spectral analysis,
but it could greatly increase the amount of information scientists could
learn, said Turner. It may indicate, for example, the presence of weather,
oceans, ice or even plant life.

"It's just one more tool, one more approach to a very tough problem," said
Turner.

Although the idea that a planet's light would vary seems straightforward,
the three scientists had no idea whether that variation would be large or
small or what it would look like. After all, there are precious few
opportunities to look at Earth from afar, noted Turner. He and colleagues
reached their conclusions by studying existing research on the
light-scattering properties of everything from cornfields to ocean waves.
They then invented computer models of Earth that incorporated the data. The
results showed variations in light of up to 150 percent over the course of a
day, with characteristic signatures for different terrestrial features such
as deserts, forests and oceans.

Turner said he and colleagues will continue to refine the idea. One possible
way to test their conclusions is to measure changes in how much light from
Earth is reflected off the moon, a phenomenon known as earthshine. But the
real test will be if and when someone finds the first Earth-like planet.
That moment could come in the next decade or so. NASA is exploring several
alternatives for a planet-finding mission that would launch in 2012 or
beyond, and also is seeking plans for smaller projects that could be
launched in just a few years.

With characteristic understatement, Turner noted that if Earth-like planets
were found "they would presumably be objects of tremendous interest."

==========
(6) WEIRED CHEMISTY: RADIATION-DRIVEN REACTIONS ON JUPITER'S MOONS

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

RESEARCH NEWS & PUBLICATIONS OFFICE
Georgia Institute of Technology
430 Tenth Street, N.W., Suite N-116
Atlanta, Georgia 30318 USA

MEDIA RELATIONS CONTACTS:
John Toon
404-894-6986   Fax: 404-894-4545
E-mail: john.toon@edi.gatech.edu
or
Jane Sanders
404-894-2214   Fax: 404-894-6983
E-mail: jane.sanders@edi.gatech.edu

TECHNICAL CONTACT:
Thomas Orlando
Georgia Tech School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
404-894-4012
E-mail: thomas.orlando@chemistry.gatech.edu

Writer: John Toon

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2001

Weird Chemistry: Researchers Study Unique Radiation-Driven Reactions in
Extreme Cold and High Vacuum of Jupiter's Moons

By his own admission, Thomas Orlando deals with "weird chemistry." In fact,
the Georgia Institute of Technology researcher studies chemical processes
that are literally out of this world -- reactions occurring on the moons of
Jupiter, driven by extreme radiation at ultra-cold temperatures.

Based on laboratory simulations, work by Orlando and other researchers is
helping planetary scientists understand data reported by a NASA spacecraft
flying past the Galilean satellites Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The
studies provide new insight into the unique chemical reactions that take
place on extremely cold icy surfaces under high vacuum, driven by
high-energy electrons and ions rather than normal thermal processes.

The moons, which are gravitationally locked to Jupiter, co-rotate with
Jupiter and lie within Jupiter's intense magnetosphere. Here they are
constantly bombarded by radiation with the trailing sides receiving a
greater radiation dose than the leading sides.

"When the magnetospheric particles (ions and electrons) are smashing into
the surface of the moons, strange things happen even though the surface is
about as cold as cold can be. Radicals are produced, ionization occurs and
reactive species produce materials that wouldn't normally be produced,"
explained Orlando, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Chemistry and
Biochemistry. "The bottom line is that weird chemistry goes on when there is
too much energy."

Orlando discussed aspects of this "weird chemistry" at the 222nd national
meeting of the American Chemical Society on August 29th in Chicago. His
presentation was part of a chemical education section on the importance of
radiation and high-energy chemistry in both the laboratory and the real
world -- which includes the outer reaches of our solar system.

Near-infrared data sent from the Galileo spacecraft in 1997 indicated the
presence of frozen brine on the surface of Europa. This suggestion was
mainly discussed by McCord and co-workers (Science 280, 1242-45, 1998) and
many planetary scientists believed the brine could have originated in a
subsurface ocean beneath Europa's frozen crust. Brought to the surface by
cryo-volcanic action, the brine would have been flash-frozen in the extreme
cold (below 130 degrees Kelvin, or minus 145 degrees Celsius) and ultra-high
vacuum (less than 10**-10 Torr).

To test that hypothesis, a team of scientists led by Orlando (formerly of
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) and Prof. Tom McCord of the
University of Hawaii, duplicated the freezing of brine under similar
conditions of temperature and vacuum, then cycled the samples through the
thermal changes that occur on the surface of Europa. Near-infrared analysis
of the resulting samples showed characteristics similar to what the
spacecraft reported, supporting the brine theory.

"We made some pretty good connections to what the planetary scientists had
seen on the surface of these moons," said Orlando. "We thought about flash
freezing from the chemical physics standpoint because if you freeze the
brine fast enough, you can 'lock' the waters of hydration into their local
positions. These water molecules should have a different optical signature
than the rest of the water molecules in ice."

Spacecraft have also measured oxygen molecules (O2) as part of a tenuous
atmosphere on the moons. To understand how oxygen could be produced and
liberated from extremely cold ice on the moons, Orlando's research team at
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory bombarded ice samples with an electron
beam much like those used in the microelectronics industry. The result was
an unexpected reaction that involved the production of a stable precursor
molecule that would not form under conditions seen by most chemists.

Simulations may also help scientists construct a time line for tracking the
evolution and transformation of the moons' surfaces. Since the high
radiation is constantly changing the ice, understanding the rate at which
those processes occur might allow researchers to date them -- particularly
if changes can be measured from one space mission to the next.

Beyond the Galilean satellites, Orlando's interest extends to Mars, comets,
asteroids and even the dust found in space. "Radiation induced processes are
generally the rule in outer space," he said. "They're not limited to just
one system. We are just simulating what cosmic rays do. Cosmic rays produce
electrons so we study the chemistry these electrons initiate."

A chemical physicist, Orlando began studying chemical reactions driven by
radiation while a researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
There, the interest was in the effects of radiation on production of
hydrogen and oxygen from nuclear waste. Transitioning that knowledge to
planetary science shows the value of interdisciplinary studies, Orlando
says.

"We're working in an interesting area where chemical physics, surface
science and radiation chemistry can help planetary scientists address the
issues raised by the really superb mission data," he noted. "The planetary
science community is getting data so good that we can take a molecular view
of what's happening."

At Georgia Tech, Orlando has established a laboratory to continue the study
of radiation effects on icy surfaces. Using equipment that can produce
ultra-high vacuum and temperatures down to 15 Kelvin, he plans to study the
production of hydrogen molecules, and to better understand how small changes
in the processing conditions affect the characteristics of the very cold ice
and what can be driven from it.

"The surface morphology and the surface temperature greatly affect the
products you make," he said. "At one temperature, you might make a lot of
O2. At another temperature, you may just sputter off water molecules and get
water into the gas phase. The general radiation processing of
low-temperature water is still not completely characterized."

Also on the agenda: photochemistry studies of iron oxides on Mars, sulfuric
acid interaction with radiation -- and possible nanotechnology and medical
applications using controlled electron-beam technology.

The research is sponsored by NASA and the Department of Energy. The research
team conducting the brine studies included Thomas McCord, Gary Hansen, and
Lisa Van Keulen of the University of Hawaii, and Glenn Teeter, Matthew
Sieger and William Simpson of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. A
paper on brine work was published in Volume 106 of the Journal of
Geophysical
Research. A paper on the oxygen production was published in volume 394 of
Nature.

Related Information: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides a complete
overview of the Galileo mission, including images of the Jupiter moons, at
http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov

IMAGE CAPTIONS:
[ http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/jupiterice.html ]

[Image 1]
Prof. Thomas Orlando and Doctoral Student Janine Herring study data from a
simulation. Orlando's research focuses  on unique chemical reactions driven
by radiation -- such as those  occurring on the icy surfaces of Jupiter's
moons. (Georgia Tech  photo by Gary Meek, Georgia Tech Research Corporation)

[Image 2]
Prof. Thomas Orlando and Doctoral Student Janine Herring adjust components
on equipment used to bombard icy surfaces with an electron beam. The system
is used to study the unique chemical reactions that occur on Jupiter's
moons. (Georgia Tech Photo by Gary Meek, Georgia Tech Research Corporation)

=========
(7) END-PERMIAN CATASTOPHE BY COSMIC IMPACT

Geology: Vol. 29, No. 9, pp. 815-818.

End-Permian catastrophe by a bolide impact: Evidence of a gigantic release
of sulfur from the mantle

Manuscript Received by the Society November 27, 2000
Revised Manuscript Received May 1, 2001
Manuscript Accepted May 18, 2001

ABSTRACT

Our studies in southern China have revealed a remarkable sulfur and
strontium isotope excursion at the end of the Permian, along with a
coincident concentration of impact-metamorphosed grains and kaolinite and a
significant decrease in manganese, phosphorous, calcium, and microfossils
(foraminifera). These data suggest that an asteroid or a comet hit the ocean
at the end of Permian time and caused a rapid and massive release of sulfur
from the mantle to the ocean-atmosphere system, leading to significant
oxygen consumption, acid rain, and the most severe biotic crisis in the
history of life on Earth.

Addresses:
Kunio Kaiho*
Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578,
Japan

Yoshimichi Kajiwara and Takanori Nakano
Institute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan

Yasunori Miura
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Yamaguchi University,
Yamaguchi 753-8512, Japan

Hodaka Kawahata
Marine Geology Department, Geological Survey of Japan, Ibaraki 305-8567,
Japan

Kazue Tazaki and Masato Ueshima
Department of Earth Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan

Zhongqiang Chen and Guang R. Shi
School of Ecology and Environment, Deakin University, Rusden Campus, 662
Blackburn Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia

Copyright by Geological Society of America 2001

================
(8) DEVELOPMENT OF A TARGET MARKER FOR LANDING ON ASTEROIDS

Sawai S, Kawaguchi J, Scheeres D, Yoshizawa N, Ogasawara M: Development of a
target marker for landing on asteroids JOURNAL OF SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS  38
(4): 601-608 JUL-AUG 2001

The proposed asteroid sample return mission MUSES-C calls for a spacecraft
to approach an asteroid, touch down on its surface, and collect samples that
will be returned to Earth. During the touchdown and sampling phase, the
spacecraft will navigate relative to the asteroid surface using optical
target markers placed on the asteroid surface before the final approach. By
using the target marker as a reference point, navigation during the landing
phase will be much more reliable and precise. Because of the microgravity
environment on the asteroid surface, the settling time and dynamics of the
target markers are items of interest. Thus, it is important to design the
target marker with as small a coefficient of restitution as possible to
minimize the settling time, which in turn minimizes the time the spacecraft
must hover above the asteroid surface. To achieve this small coefficient of
restitution, the target marker will be constructed out of a bag with balls
stored internally. On impact, the balls will dissipate energy relative to
each other and, hence, will dissipate the total energy of the target marker.
To better predict the performance of such a target marker, analytical and
numerical investigations are performed that model the motion of a bouncing
target marker across the surface of a rotating asteroid. As a result of the
analysis, some target limits on the target marker coefficient of restitution
are developed. A series of microgravity tests are reported that confirm the
basic design and show that the target value of coefficient of restitution
can be reached.

Addresses:
Sawai S, Univ Michigan, Dept Aerosp Engn, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA
Univ Michigan, Dept Aerosp Engn, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA
Inst Space & Astronaut Sci, Space Syst Engn Div, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
2298510, Japan
NEC Aerosp Syst Ltd, Engn Dept 1, Syst Div 1, Yokohama, Kanagawa 2248555,
Japan

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

========
(9) THE ARCETRI NEO PRECOVERY PROGRAMME

Boattini A, D'Abramo G, Forti G, Gal R: The Arcetri NEO Precovery Program
ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS 375 (1): 293-307 AUG 2001

The Arcetri Near Earth Object Precovery Program (ANEOPP) is a project
dedicated to the identification of images of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) on
past archival materials, an activity usually referred to as precovery. Going
years back in time to locate such images results in the acquisition of very
good orbital information, which, in turn, allows astronomers to perform more
accurate studies of the dynamical evolution and physical characterization of
NEOs, as well as improve assessments of their impact hazard. We discuss the
tasks involved in this work and the basic techniques used to yield
successful identifications on photographic plates. Begun in mid-1999, ANEOPP
has precovered more than 70 NEOs to date, which were previously observed
only during the discovery apparition. The keys to obtaining these results
have been: i) easy access to competitive collections both in digital form
and as plastic copies; ii) traveling to additional collections; iii) the
recent development of reliable algorithms to determine the boundaries of the
recovery region, which is the portion of the celestial sphere where an
asteroid with an uncertain orbit can be found at a given time.

Addresses:
Boattini A, Osserv Astron Roma, Via Frascati 33, I-00040 Rome, Italy
Osserv Astron Roma, I-00040 Rome, Italy
CNR, IAS, I-00133 Rome, Italy
Osserv Astrofis Arcetri, I-50122 Florence, Italy
Johns Hopkins Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

============
(10) PHOTEMETRIC OBSERVATIONS OF 9 NEOS

Szabo GM, Csak B, Sarneczky K, Kiss LL: Photometric observations of 9
near-earth objects
ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS 375 (1): 285-292 AUG 2001

We present new CCD observations of nine Near-Earth Asteroids carried out
between February, 1999 and July, 2000. The bulk of the data was acquired
through an R-C filter, while the minor planet 11 405 was observed without
filter. We could determine synodic periods and amplitudes for 5 asteroids,
699: 3.(h)3, 0.(m)18; 1866: 2.(h)7, 0.(m)12; 1999 JD6: 7.(h)68, 1.(m)2; 2000
GK137: 4.(h)84, 0.(m)27; 2000 NM: 9.(h)24, 0.(m)30. Based on observations
taken at different phases, we could infer a phase parameter m of 0.018 +/-
0.005 for 1865 Cerberus. An epoch-method yielded a sidereal period of
0.(d)27024003(5) for this object with retrograde rotation. The remaining 3
objects have only partial coverage, thus no firm conclusion on their synodic
period is possible.

Addresses:
Kiss LL, Univ Szeged, Dept Expt Phys, Dom Ter 9, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Univ Szeged, Dept Expt Phys, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Univ Szeged, Astron Observ, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Univ Szeged, Dept Opt & Quantum Elect, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
Univ Szeged, Astron Observ, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
ELTE Univ, Dept Phys Geog, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

===============
(11) GROUNDBASED INVESTIGATIONS OF ASTEROID 9969

Lazzarin M, Fornasier S, Barucci MA, Birlan M: Groundbased investigation of
asteroid 9969 Braille, target of the spacecraft mission Deep Space 1
ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS  375 (1): 281-284 AUG 2001

Asteroid 9969 Braille (1992 KD) was encountered on July 29, 1999 by the Deep
Space 1 mission, the first of NASA's New Millennium Program, launched on
October 24 1998. The data obtained by the space mission seem to indicate a
composition of the object similar to that of Vesta. To complete the
information obtained in the infrared region by the Deep Space 1 mission we
have performed a visible spectroscopic and photometric investigation of the
asteroid respectively with the 1.5 m telescope and the NTT of ESO, La Silla.
The spectrum was obtained in the spectral range 4500-8200 Angstrom and, for
the photometry, BVRI filters were used. In this paper we report the results
of the analysis of the data obtained indicating that, on the basis of our
visible data, the composition of the asteroid may range from V-type to
Q-type, but we observe also a strong similarity to the H-type ordinary
chondrites.

Addresses:
Lazzarin M, Dipartimento Astron, Vic Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padua, Italy
Dipartimento Astron, I-35122 Padua, Italy
Observ Paris, F-92195 Meudon, France

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

=================
(12) DETERMINATION OF ASTEROID MASSES

Michalak G: Determination of asteroid masses - II. (6) Hebe, (10) Hygiea,
(15) Eunomia, (52) Europa, (88) Thisbe, (444) Gyptis, (511) Davida and (704)
Interamnia
ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS  374 (2): 703-711 AUG 2001

New masses of eight asteroids: (6) Hebe, (10) Hygiea, (15) Eunomia, (52)
Europa, (88) Thisbe, (444) Gyptis, (511) Davida, and (704) Interamnia, were
determined. In most cases, the masses were calculated by means of the
least-squares method as the weighted means of the values found separately
from the perturbations on several single asteroids. Encounters suitable for
determination of masses of these asteroids were found from the extensive
search for large asteroidal perturbations exerted by massive asteroids on
4500 numbered minor planets. Most of the encounters found within the search
had never before been used for mass determinations. The masses of Hebe,
Hygiea, Eunomia, Europa, Thisbe, Gyptis, Davida and Interamnia were
determined from perturbations on, respectively, 2, 8, 3, 4, 1, 1, 2 and 3
asteroids. As an outcome of the search for possible perturbers among the 912
largest asteroids, we propose and use correct dynamical models including
important perturbers for all asteroids under consideration. For all new
asteroid masses, the influence of the variation of the masses of asteroids
in the dynamical model is investigated. A discussion on individual mass
determinations is also presented.

Addresses:
Michalak G, Wroclaw Univ Observ, Kopernika 11, PL-51622 Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw Univ Observ, PL-51622 Wroclaw, Poland

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

============
(13) DYNAMICAL CAUSES OF ASYMMETRY IN THE ARRANGEMENTS OF GAPS IN THE
ASTEROID BELT

Markeev AP: Dynamical causes of asymmetry in the arrangement of gaps in the
asteroid belt
ASTRONOMY LETTERS-A JOURNAL OF ASTRONOMY AND SPACE ASTROPHYSICS 27 (7):
475-479 JUL 2001

The centers of the gaps observed in the asteroid belt are displaced toward
Jupiter from their positions that correspond to the exact commensurability
between the mean motions of an asteroid and Jupiter. Using the current
theory of stability and nonlinear oscillations of Hamiltonian systems, we
point out the dynamical causes of this asymmetry. Our analysis is performed
in terms of the plane circular restricted three-body problem. The orbits
that correspond to Poincare periodic solutions of the first kind are taken
as unperturbed asteroid orbits. (C) 2001 MAIK "Nauka/Interperiodica".

Addresses:
Markeev AP, Russian Acad Sci, Inst Problems Mech, Pr Vernadskogo 101, Moscow
117526, Russia
Russian Acad Sci, Inst Problems Mech, Moscow 117526, Russia

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

=============
(14) THE SIZE-FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE ZODIACAL CLOUD

Grogan K, Dermott SF, Durda DD: The size-frequency distribution of the
zodiacal cloud: Evidence from the solar system dust bands ICARUS 152 (2):
251-267 AUG 2001

Recent observations of the size-frequency distribution of zodiacal cloud
particles obtained from the cratering record on the LDEF satellite are the
latest evidence for a significant large particle population (100-mum
diameter or greater) near 1 AU. Our previous modeling of the Solar System
dust bands, features of the zodiacal cloud associated with the comminution
of Hirayama family asteroids, has been limited by the fact that only small
particles (25-mum diameter or smaller) have been considered. This was due to
the prohibitively large amount of computing power required to numerically
analyze the dynamics of larger particles. The recent availability of
inexpensive, fast processors has finally made this work possible. Models of
the dust bands are created, built from individual dust particle orbits,
taking into account a size-frequency distribution of the material and the
dynamical history of the constituent particles. These models are able to
match both the shapes and amplitudes of the dust band structures observed by
IRAS in multiple wavebands. The size-frequency index, q, that best matches
the observations is approximately 1.4, a distribution in which the surface
area (and hence the infrared emission) is dominated by large particles.
However, in order to successfully model the "ten degree" band, which is
usually associated with collisional activity within the Eos family, we find
that the mean proper inclination of the dust particle orbits has to be
approximately 9.35 degrees, significantly different from the mean proper
inclination of the Eos family (10.08 degrees). (C) 2001 Academic Press.

Addresses:
Grogan K, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Code 681, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
Univ Florida, Dept Astron, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
SW Res Inst, Boulder, CO 80302 USA

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

==================
(15) THE ROTATION AXIS OF THE CENTAUR 5145 PHOLUS

Farnham TL: The rotation axis of the Centaur 5145 Pholus
ICARUS 152 (2): 238-245 AUG 2001

We present observations of the Centaur 5145 Pholus from January 2000 to
August 2000. A rotational lightcurve was assembled from both V and R
measurements, confirming previous period determinations of 0.416 day but
exhibiting an amplitude over twice as high as previously measured. This
lightcurve was then used in conjunction with previously published
lightcurves to solve for a north pole position of lambda (0) = 149 degrees,
beta (0) = +26 degrees (prograde rotation), and a sidereal period of
0.4159256 +/- 0.0000016 day. As part of this analysis, the axial ratios of
Pholus were found to be alb = 1.8 and b/c = 1.0. Color analyses of the data
give an average V - R color of 0.71 +/- 0.03, which is slightly lower than
the 0.75-0.84 range previously seen. This difference, combined with the fact
that we see color variations as a function of rotation, suggest that Pholus'
northern hemisphere contains bluer features than are seen in its southern
hemisphere. (C) 2001 Academic Press.

Addresses:
Farnham TL, Univ Texas, Dept Astron, Austin, TX 78712 USA
Univ Texas, Dept Astron, Austin, TX 78712 USA

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

==============
(16) THE PUZZLING CASE OF THE NYSA-POLANA FAMILY

Cellino A, Zappala V, Doressoundiram A, Di Martino M, Bendjoya P, Dotto E,
Migliorini F: The puzzling case of the Nysa-Polana family ICARUS  152 (2):
225-237 AUG 2001

The Nysa-Polana dynamical family is one of the most complex groupings
identified in the asteroid main belt. It has a generally twofold structure
and is located in a region of the belt showing an unusual abundance of the
fairly rare F-type taxonomic class. We present here new spectra of 22 family
members, observed at ESO (European Southern Observatory) and at CASLEO
(Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito, Argentina). We find evidence that the
family is actually formed by two distinct groupings mutually overlapping in
the space of orbital proper elements. The first group of objects, consisting
of dark asteroids including several F-type members, can be named after its
least-numbered member, 142 Polana. The second group consists of S-type
asteroids and should be named after its most plausible least-numbered
member, 878 Mildred. Some detailed physical analysis of the two groupings
can be already attempted at this stage, including a reasonable
reconstruction of the original ejection velocity field for the Mildred
family. However, we face here a number of intriguing problems that deserve
further analysis. For instance, it is not clear how to interpret the role of
the two largest nominal members of the clan, 44 Nysa and 135 Hertha, as well
as the presence of several large F-type asteroids apparently not related,
but very close to the clan. Moreover, recent discoveries of common spectral
features indicating hydrated minerals in the spectra of Nysa and Hertha add
complexity to an already puzzling scenario. (C) 2001 Academic Press.

Addresses:
Cellino A, Osservatorio Astron Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
Osservatorio Astron Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
Observ Paris, DESPA, F-92190 Meudon, France
Univ Nice, F-06108 Nice, France

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

=================
(17) FORMATION OF MESOSIDERITES

Edward RDS, Haack H, Love SG: Formation of mesosiderites by fragmentation
and reaccretion of a large differentiated asteroid  METEORITICS & PLANETARY
SCIENCE  36 (7): 869-881 JUL 2001

We propose that mesosiderites formed when a 200-400 km diameter asteroid
with a molten core was disrupted by a 50-150 km diameter projectile. To test
whether impacts can excavate core iron and mix it with crustal material, we
used a low-resolution, smoothed-particle hydrodynamics computer simulation.
For 50-300 km diameter differentiated targets, we found that significant
proportions of scrambled core material (and hence potential mesosiderite
metal material) could be generated. For near-catastrophic impacts that
reduce the target to 80% of its original diameter and about half of its
original mass, the proportion of scrambled core material would be about 5
vol%, equivalent to similar to 10 vol% of mesosiderite-like material. The
paucity of olivine in mesosiderites and the lack of metal-poor or
troilite-rich meteorites from the mesosiderite body probably reflect biased
sampling. Mesosiderites may be olivine-poor because mantle material was
preferentially excluded from the metal-rich regions of the reaccreted body.
Molten metal globules probably crystallized around small, cool fragments of
crust hindering migration of metal to the core. If mantle fragments were
much hotter and larger than crustal fragments, little metal would have
crystallized around the mantle fragments allowing olivine and molten metal
to separate gravitationally. The rapid cooling rates of mesosiderites above
850 degreesC can be attributed to local thermal equilibration between hot
and cold ejecta. Very slow cooling below 400 degreesC probably reflects the
large size of the body and the excellent thermal insulation provided by the
reaccreted debris. We infer that our model is more plausible than an earlier
model that invoked an impact at similar to1 km/s to mix projectile metal
with target silicates. If large impacts cannot effectively strip mantles
from asteroidal cores, as we infer, we should expect few large eroded
asteroids to have surfaces composed purely of mantle or core material. This
may help to explain why relatively few olivine-rich (A-type) and metal-rich
asteroids (M-type) are known. Some S-type asteroids may be scrambled
differentiated bodies.

Addresses:
Edward RDS, Univ Hawaii Manoa, Sch Ocean & Earth Sci & Technol, Hawaii Inst
Geophys & Planetol, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Univ Hawaii Manoa, Sch Ocean & Earth Sci & Technol, Hawaii Inst Geophys &
Planetol, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
NASA, Lyndon B Johnson Space Ctr, Houston, TX 77058 USA

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

==============
(18) A PAIR OF RESONANT PLANETS

Marcy GW, Butler RP, Fischer D, Vogt SS, Lissauer JJ, Rivera EJ: A pair of
resonant planets orbiting GJ 876 ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL  556 (1): 296-301,
Part 1 JUL 20 2001

Precise Doppler measurements during 6 yr from the Lick and Keck
observatories reveal two planets orbiting GJ 876 (M4V). The orbital fit
yields companion masses of M sin i = 0.56 and 1.89 M-J, orbital periods of P
= 30.1 and 61.0 days, semimajor axes of a = 0.13 and 0.21 AU, and
eccentricities of e = 0.28 and 0.10, respectively. The orbital periods are
nearly in the ratio of 2: 1, unprecedented among major planets but common
among moons and asteroids. Moreover, the axes of the elliptical orbits
appear to be nearly aligned. The inner companion was not recognized
previously owing to the 2: 1 ratio of periods, which allowed its signature
to masquerade as added orbital eccentricity of the outer planet. Dynamical
simulations show that the system is stable within a subset of the observed
orbital parameters. The stability may be provided by a mean-motion resonance
and the apparent alignment of the major axes. These planets pose unsolved
questions about their formation and dynamical evolution, which brought them
within 0.08 AU of each other and locked them in resonance.

Addresses:
Marcy GW, Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Astron, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA
94720 USA
Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Astron, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA
Carnegie Inst Washington, Dept Terr Magnetism, Washington, DC 20015 USA
Univ Calif Santa Cruz, Univ Calif Observ, Lick Observ, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
USA
NASA, Ames Res Ctr, Div Space Sci, Moffett Field, CA 94035 USA
SUNY Stony Brook, Dept Phys & Astron, Stony Brook, NY 11794 USA

Copyright 2001 Institute for Scientific Information

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

(19) RE: FROM MARS TO EARTH IN A METEORITE?

>From Jeff Foust <jeff@spacetoday.net>

Benny,

> (9) FROM MARS TO EARTH IN A METEORITE?
>
> From Scientific American, 24 August 2001
> http://www.sciam.com/news/102700/1.html

For what it's worth, the article referred to above was first published on 27
October 2000, not last Friday.  The Science paper mentioned in the article
was published on that date, and the current issue of Science has no paper by
Weiss and Kirschvink.

Cheers,
Jeff Foust
jeff@spacetoday.net

=============
(20) AND FINALLY: "MASTER CLASS ON ASTEROID GODDESS"

>From Boston Globe, 28 August 2001
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/240/nation/Heavens_smile_on_astrology_school_It_s_accredited+.shtml

Heavens smile on astrology school: It's accredited

By Giovanna Dell'Orto Associated Press, 8/28/2001

COTTSDALE, Ariz. - The stars were favorably aligned this month for the
Astrological Institute, says founder Joyce Jensen, whose students learn to
write horoscopes and give advice about the future.

The modest school in suburban Phoenix won accreditation from a federally
recognized body, in what's believed to be a first for a school of astrology.
Now the institute can seek approval from the US Education Department for its
students to get federal grants and loans.

>From her observation of the celestial array, Jensen said she now sees that
''this was a very good time'' for her school. But Jensen - a 60-year-old
Scorpio - also noted she's been seeking accreditation for years, and
wouldn't have stopped no matter what the stars indicated.

Her institute, where courses include a ''master class on the asteroid
goddesses'' and ''how to write an astrological column,'' offers one program:
a diploma in astrology and psychology.

The institute received accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of
Career Schools and Colleges of Technology after demonstrating that its
teachers are qualified and that its graduates can be placed in jobs, said
Elise Scanlon, head of the Arlington, Va.-based commission.

Scanlon and other officials in her field knew of no other schools that have
been accredited to teach astrology, which is generally considered a
pseudo-science.

Judith Eaton, head of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation in
Washington, said the accreditation doesn't validate astrology, but only
recognizes that the school fulfills its promises.

The institute occupies part of a former elementary school. Inside its orange
front door, painted with a fiery sun, the school is sparsely decorated.

Tuition is $5,300, with classes offered in the day and evening. Full-time
students can earn a diploma in 12 months. But a majority of the 32 students
now enrolled come at night, after working day jobs.

To earn a diploma, they must pass six required courses: three each in
astrology and psychology, plus at least four electives. Besides learning
astrology, Jensen said, ''if you're going to be an astrologer, you really
need the skills of counseling people.''

Graduates usually set up private practice, though some get hired in holistic
healing centers, spas, and on cruise ships, Jensen said. She hopes
eventually to offer an associate degree, which would require further
accreditation.

With the respectability of accreditation and the possibility of financial
aid, Jensen, an astrologer herself, hopes to draw younger people more
interested in astrology as a profession than a know-thyself pursuit. Many of
the students now are in their 30s.

''We haven't had young people for a long time'' because they lack the money
to pay for the program, Jensen said.

Astrology dates to the time when it was believed that planets and stars,
including the signs of the zodiac, revolved around the earth, influencing
earthly events. Astrologers say that people's character and fate are
directed by the position of the sun, moon, and planets at their birth. These
positions are charted in a horoscope.

Scientists scoff at the pursuit.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist who heads the Hayden Planetarium in
New York, said astrology was discredited 600 years ago with the birth of
modern science. ''To teach it as though you are contributing to the
fundamental knowledge of an informed electorate is astonishing in this, the
21st century,'' he said.

This story ran on page A2 of the Boston Globe on 8/28/2001.
Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

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