PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 102/2001 - 24 September 2001
==================================


"Deep Space 1 plunged into the heart of comet Borrelly and has lived
to tell every detail of it! The amazing little spacecraft was
fantastically successful in its encounter with the mysterious comet on
September 22. Many recent mission logs have described why this probably
would not work, but it did work, and it worked far far better than expected.
In fact, everything went so well on encounter day that my biggest
concern was the seismic risk to Southern California when thunderous
applause erupted in mission control upon the return of the images! When we
saw them, the room was just filled with almost unbridled elation."
--Marc Rayman, SpaceDaily, 23 September 2001



"This year's Leonid meteor shower will be so big it poses a threat
to the thousands of satellites orbiting Earth. At least one satellite
could be shorted out when the Earth passes through the dusty trail of
the comet Tempel-Tuttle, astronomers predict. [...] "A direct impact of
even a single grain of dust could be catastrophic for a satellite,"
explains Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland. "The
particle would vaporize when it struck, creating a plasma," he says. "This
cloud of electrically charged gas could short-circuit the satellite's
delicate electronics".
--Philip Ball, Nature Science Update, 24 September 2001




(1) A QUICK SNAP SHOT OF COMET SCIENCE IN DEEP SPACE
    SpaceDaily, 23 September 2001

(2) SPACECRAFT CAPTURES COMET IMAGES
    Yahoo! News, 23 September 2001

(3) DEEP SPACE 1 DEFIED ODDS, PHOTOGRAPHS COMET IN RISKY FLYBY
    Space.com, 22 September 2001

(4) DEEP SPACE 1 MISSION STATUS
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(5) ASTEROIDS TO BE NAMED FOR TERRORIST VICTIMS
    Space.com, 21 September 2001

(6) NOVEMBER'S LEONID METEOR SHOWER COULD CAUSE COMMUNICATIONS HAVOC
    Nature Science Update, 24 September 2001

(7) SEA LEVEL STUDY REVEALS ATLANTIS CANDIDATE
    New Scientist, 19 September 2001

(8) GALILEE DROUGHT UNCOVERS OLDEST VILLAGE IN THE WORLD
    The Sunday Times, 23 September 2001

(9) THE BIOLOGICAL THREAT: DEFENSE MAY BE INADEQUATE FOR GERM OR TOXIC
ATTACKS
    The New York Times, 23 September 2001

(10) THE BLITZ SPIRIT: GAS MASKS SELL OUT IN NEW YORK
     Times 24 September 2001

(11) COMMENTARY: POISONING A CITY IS HARDER THAN IN OUR NIGHTMARES
     Los Angeles Times, 24 September 2001

(12) NAMING MINOR PLANETS AFTER TERROR VICTIMS
     Vinzenz  Lübben <vluebben@t-online.de >
 
(13) THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCES UNLEASHED
     Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>


================
(1) A QUICK SNAP SHOT OF COMET SCIENCE IN DEEP SPACE

>From SpaceDaily, 23 September 2001
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/deep1-01l.html

Unlike D1's flyby of the asteroid Braille in August 1999, SpaceDaily has
been assured that despite the delay in releasing the images, they are "sharp
and in focus", and that there are about 30 image in all.

by Marc Rayman

Pasadena - September 23, 2001

Deep Space 1 plunged into the heart of comet Borrelly and has lived to tell
every detail of it! The amazing little spacecraft was fantastically
successful in its encounter with the mysterious comet on September 22. Many
recent mission logs have described why this probably would not work, but it
did work, and it worked far far better than expected.

In fact, everything went so well on encounter day that my biggest concern
was the seismic risk to Southern California when thunderous applause erupted
in mission control upon the return of the images! When we saw them, the room
was just filled with almost unbridled elation.

We had low expectations, so the enormity of the success was that much more
wonderful. The tremendous excitement stems from being the very first humans
ever to glimpse the secrets that this comet has held since the birth of the
solar system.

In addition, after years of nursing this aged and wounded bird along -- a
spacecraft not designed to explore comets, a probe that exceeded its
objectives more than 2 years ago -- after struggling to keep it going
through long nights and stressful days, to see it perform its remarkably
complex and risky assignment so well was nothing short of incredible. I
honestly did not think it was up to the task. In fact, even though we had
strong indications during the encounter that it was collecting the data we
wanted, I tried to keep everyone from getting too excited. I felt we had to
accomplish two key tasks: 1) get the science data from the spacecraft to
Earth, and 2) persuade ourselves we weren't dreaming. We've now done both!

The images and other data we collected from comet Borrelly are going to make
great contributions to scientists' efforts to learn more about these
intriguing members of the solar system family. We're going to gain a great
deal of completely new and absolutely fascinating insights into comets and
perhaps into the origin and evolution of Earth.

This log is short because your correspondent is thoroughly exhausted. The
last few logs describe what we hoped to accomplish, and one of the great
surprises of the day is that we achieved everything we set out to. JPL will
be releasing pictures and other information through its Media Relations
Office in the coming days.

There is a small chance there will be a new log later this week. More likely
however, the next one will be early in November. Your loyal correspondent is
scheduled to attend an international conference on space exploration in just
a few days.

Following that will be some time to return to Earth after this cosmic high,
and then the logs will resume with a more thorough description of this truly
historic event. You will read about the exciting science, the challenging
engineering, and the spectacular human drama that collectively add up to a
truly astonishing success story.

And you will read about the end of the Deep Space 1 Extended Mission and its
brief follow-on, which I like to call the Deep Space 1 Hyperextended
Mission. So there's more to come in the continuing exciting adventures of
Deep Space 1, one of humankind's most wonderful ambassadors to the cosmos.

Deep Space 1 is now 1.6 million kilometers, or 1 million miles, past comet
Borrelly, and is nearly 1.5 times as far from Earth as the Sun is and 575
times as far as the moon. At this distance of 220 million kilometers, or 137
million miles, radio signals, traveling at the universal limit of the speed
of light, take 24 and a half minutes to make the round trip.

Marc Rayman is the project manager for the Deep Space 1 program

Copyright 2001, SpaceDaily

=================
(2) SPACECRAFT CAPTURES COMET IMAGES

>From Yahoo! News, 23 September 2001

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010923/ts/comet_encounter_5.html

By ANDREW BRIDGES, AP Science Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A NASA (news - web sites) spacecraft captured dozens of
images of a comet during a weekend flyby, providing scientists only the
second glimpse ever of the core of one of the glowing bodies of dust and
ice.

Scientists said the Deep Space 1 probe flew within 1,360 miles of the comet
Borrelly, capturing as many as 50 images of its nucleus at varying
resolutions. Scientists expect to receive the last images and other data
from the spacecraft by Monday.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials say they will not
release any images or data from the flyby until Tuesday. However, scientists
gave hints of what the spacecraft saw and recorded, including pictures of
dust and ice boiling off the comet's surface.

``This data set will make a significant contribution to the body of
knowledge we have about comets,'' Robert Nelson, the mission's project
scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said Sunday.

Scientists are interested in comets because they are thought to contain
pristine examples of the building blocks of our solar system from its birth
4.5 billion years ago.

The glowing veil of dust and gas that envelops Borrelly is perhaps as big as
the Earth, but the comet's nucleus appears in the images to be just 2.5
miles wide by 5 miles long, Nelson said.

Borrelly was at its most active during Saturday's flyby, kicking off
material that will give scientists clues about the comet's composition. The
encounter, about 137 million miles from Earth, came about a week after the
comet's closest approach to the sun on its seven-year orbital path.

Deep Space 1's instruments also measured ions, electrons, gases and
Borrelly's magnetic and electrical fields.

``We collected a large amount of data on this previously completely
mysterious body,'' said Marc Rayman, the mission's project manager. ``It's
going to take some time to understand all the secrets this body may be
hiding.''

Engineers had feared comet particles traveling at 36,900 mph would batter or
destroy the aging probe, which completed its primary mission of testing a
dozen innovative technologies two years ago. As of Sunday, preliminary data
indicated the spacecraft remained in good health.

The European Space Agency's Giotto was the first and only other spacecraft
to ever spy a comet nucleus when it flew past Halley in 1986.

In those images, Halley spewed fountains of ice and dust as the sun's rays
warmed the comet's surface.

The encounter was a bonus for Deep Space 1, which is nearly out of fuel and
will be turned off by NASA later this year.

On the Net:

Deep Space 1: http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/

Copyright 2001, Yahoo! News

=================
(3) DEEP SPACE 1 DEFIED ODDS, PHOTOGRAPHS COMET IN RISKY FLYBY

>From Space.com, 22 September 2001

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer

NASA's Deep Space 1 spacecraft defied deadly odds late Saturday, dodging
potentially mission-ending comet dust while sucking down its final drops of
fuel in making a successful flyby of comet Borrelly.

The craft snapped black-and-white photos of the comet's nucleus from inside
the coma, a halo of dust grains and atomic material burned off the comet by
the Sun. It is only the third time a spacecraft passed close enough to
capture images of a comet's nucleus.

Donald Yeomans, a comet expert at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said he
and his colleagues had gotten a sneak peak of about 30 images Saturday
evening and that full resolution versions would be downloaded from the
spacecraft to Earth overnight and into Sunday.

"These are really remarkable," Yeomans said in a telephone interview
Saturday night. "As expected, there were lots of surprises."

Yeomans couldn't say what those surprises were. The images will be released
at a press conference in coming days. But he said they would be very
important and useful for the study of comets.

Some 30 ecstatic mission managers at JPL watched the images download from a
craft that had succeeded in doing something it wasn't designed to do, and
pulling it off after a long and battering trip that is near its end.

"There was sustained applause," Yeomans said.

Deep Space 1 passed approximately 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the
comet while traveling at 36,900 mph (16.5 kilometers per second).

Twin Russian spacecraft, Vega 1 and Vega 2, imaged comet Halley in March
1986. The snapshots helped direct a Halley flyby later that same month by
the European Space Agency's Giotto mission, which buzzed its target at just
373 miles (600 km) away.

But Deep Space 1 was not designed for a comet flyby, and NASA had worried
that dust might pummel the unprotected craft. It was a game of odds, and the
probe appears to have sneaked between the widespread particles unharmed.

"There was no evidence of a dust hit," Yeomans said.

The encounter took place at about 6:30 p.m. ET, roughly 125 million miles
(200 million kilometers) from the Sun, between the orbits of Earth and Mars.
Signals confirming the successful encounter were received on Earth at 6:43
p.m. ET, and data containing the first clues to the composition of the comet
came a few hours after the close brush with the comet.

Researchers know very little about the composition of comets. But they are
considered to be pristine representatives of the material that was present
when the solar system formed.

The press conference may be scheduled for Tuesday, but that was not
immediately clear. [SPACE.com will provide continuing coverage as this story
unfolds and the images are released.]

During the flyby of comet Borrelly, Deep Space 1 had also been instructed to
take other measures of the icy rock. The probe was asked to produce infrared
images that would help researchers explore the comet's surface. And sensors
that monitor the ion propulsion were reprogrammed to listen for magnetic
fields and plasma waves in and around the comet.

This data all appeared to be gathered and would be downloaded through the
weekend, Yeomans said.

Other researchers have planned ground-based observations of comet Borrelly,
as well as studies using the Hubble Space Telescope. They hope to combine
all the data, along with what Deep Space 1 has gathered, to paint a detailed
picture of the comet.

"The images and other data we collected from comet Borrelly so far will help
scientists learn a great deal about these intriguing members of the solar
system family," said Dr. Marc Rayman, project manager of Deep Space 1.

Several hours before the encounter, the spacecraft began observing the
comet's environment, JPL officials said. The action increased about an hour
and a half before the closest approach, when for two minutes the probe's
infrared spectrometer collected data that will help scientists understand
the overall composition of the surface of the comet's nucleus.

Deep Space 1 took its first black-and-white image of the comet 32 minutes
before the closest pass, and the best picture of comet Borrelly was taken
just a few minutes before closest approach, according to plan, mission
manager said.

Two minutes before closest approach, ion and electron monitors that were
originally designed to monitor the craft's engine were used instead to
examine dust and gas near the nucleus.

The flyby is one more feather in the cap for Deep Space 1, which launched in
1998 and was designed to test a dozen futuristic technologies, including its
high-tech ion engine. Science was never a primary goal of the mission.

Rayman had said before the flyby that besides the dust, he was concerned
that the craft might run out of the fuel it uses to make small adjustments
to its attitude and trajectory. And because of a previous failure to its
star-tracking instrument, Deep Space 1 had to use the same camera that
obtained the comet images as a navigation device.

The craft has also been twice battered by solar storms. And it is thought to
be very low on hydrazine, a fuel it uses to fire thrusters that adjust its
attitude and direction.

Rayman, part of a team of about dozen people who now monitor the craft
during an extended mission period, said before the encounter that it's as
though Deep Space 1 "is kept flying with duct tape and good wishes."

So how did it feel Saturday night?

"It was just tremendously exciting to see this aged and wounded bird pull
off this remarkably complex and risky assignment so well," an exhausted
Rayman said. "I honestly did not think it was up to that task."

If the probe continues in good health, engineers will run its ion engine
through a series of tests that were considered too risky before. The tests
may cause the ion engine to fail. By late November, if the craft is still
operating, NASA will cease communications with it.
 
Copyright 2001, Space.com

=============
(4) DEEP SPACE 1 MISSION STATUS

>From Ron Baalke <baalke@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

Deep Space 1 Mission Status
September 22, 2001

Deep Space 1's risky encounter with comet Borrelly has gone extremely well
as the aging spacecraft successfully passed within 2,200 kilometers (about
1,400 miles) of the comet at 22:30 Universal Time (3:30 p.m. PDT) today.

"The images and other data we collected from comet Borrelly so far will help
scientists learn a great deal about these intriguing members of the solar
system family," said Dr. Marc Rayman, project manager of Deep Space 1 at
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "It's very exciting to be
among the first humans to glimpse the secrets that this comet has held since
before the planets were formed."

Signals confirming the successful encounter were received on Earth at 3:43
p.m. PDT, and data containing the first clues to the composition of the
comet came a few hours after the close brush with the comet.

Mission managers confirmed that the spacecraft was able to use all four of
its instruments at Borrelly. Data will be returned over the next few days as
the spacecraft sends to Earth black-and-white pictures, infrared
spectrometer measurements, ion and electron data, and measurements of the
magnetic field and plasma waves around the comet. Pictures of the comet will
be released after they are all sent to Earth in the next few days.

Several hours before the encounter, the ion and electron monitors began
observing the comet's environment. The action increased about an hour and a
half before the closest approach, when for two minutes the infrared
spectrometer collected data that will help scientists understand the overall
composition of the surface of the comet's nucleus. Deep Space 1 began taking
its black-and-white images of the comet 32 minutes before the spacecraft's
closest pass to the comet, and the best picture of comet Borrelly was taken
just a few minutes before closest approach, as the team had planned. Two
minutes before the spacecraft whizzed by the comet, its camera was turned
away so that the ion and electron monitors could make a careful examination
of the comet's inner coma the cloud of dust and gas that envelops the comet.


Scientists on Deep Space 1 hope to find out the nature of the comet's
surface, measure and identify the gases coming from the comet, and measure
the interaction of solar wind with the comet.

Deep Space 1 completed its primary mission testing ion propulsion and 11
other advanced, high-risk technologies in September 1999. NASA extended the
mission, taking advantage of the ion propulsion and other systems to
undertake this chancy but exciting encounter with the comet.
More information can be found on the Deep Space 1 home page at
http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/ .

Deep Space 1 was launched in October 1998 as part of NASA's New Millennium
Program, which is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science,
Washington, D.C. The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for
NASA.

==============
(5) ASTEROIDS TO BE NAMED FOR TERRORIST VICTIMS

>From Space.com, 21 September 2001
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/asteroid_names_010921.html

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer

The international organization responsible for naming asteroids plans to
name three space rocks in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the United Airlines
flight 93 hijacking.

The plan, which has not been detailed publicly but was explained to
SPACE.com, would involve names that officials hope will resonate with a
world struck by the tragedy and grieving its victims.

"We're trying to be positive, use names that would be positive, in what is
after all a terribly negative situation," said Brian Marsden, an asteroid
researcher and secretary of the International Astronomical Union's Committee
for Small Body Nomenclature.

He would not divulge the names.

The idea grew out of suggestions on an internet e-mail newsletter called the
Minor Planet Mailing List in which professional and amateur astronomers had
been discussing the idea of naming an asteroid for each of the victims, now
thought to number some 6,000 or more.

There are currently 29,074 known "minor planets," mostly asteroids and a
handful of comets and other objects. Of those, only 8,830 have been named,
leaving 20,244 that are numbered but not yet named.

Asteroids, most of which orbit the Sun in a wide swath of space between the
orbits of Mars and Jupiter, have been named for rock stars, classical
musicians, politicians and even cities and countries. There is a strict
process involved, overseen by the Committee for Small Body
Nomenclature.

An asteroid name must be 16 characters or less. In proposing a name, a
submitter (typically the discoverer) must supply by a brief, four-line
explanation for why the name deserves to be on the list. An international
group of 13 volunteers reviews and judges each entry.

Given the process, only about 100 asteroids are named each month. Meanwhile,
the pace of discovery is torrid: More than 1,000 newly found asteroids are
catalogued and numbered each month, and the quantity grows as telescopes
improve and more resources are devoted to the task.

Marsden said naming an asteroid for each victim would be highly impractical
for several reasons. For one thing, it would put a tremendous burden on the
13 volunteers who make up the judging committee
and would have to study each application.

Second, he said uncertainties on the list would make it very difficult to be
sure each victim in fact was properly awarded an asteroid and that no
asteroids were mistakenly named after terrorists or others who were possibly
missing but not dead. Officials involved in counting victims have said the
list is not entirely accurate, and it has changed frequently as more
information is gathered.

The Committee for Small Body Nomenclature hopes to finalize the proposal
soon and announce it Oct. 2.

Copyright 2001, Space.com

============
(6) NOVEMBER'S LEONID METEOR SHOWER COULD CAUSE COMMUNICATIONS HAVOC

>From Nature Science Update, 24 September 2001
http://www.nature.com/nsu/010927/010927-5.html

LEONIDS MAY SHORT SATELLITES

PHILIP BALL

This year's Leonid meteor shower will be so big it poses a threat to the
thousands of satellites orbiting Earth. At least one satellite could be
shorted out when the Earth passes through the dusty trail of the comet
Tempel-Tuttle, astronomers predict.

Between 17 and 19 November there will be almost ten meteors per square
kilometre of sky - that's ten times more than in 1999, the most spectacular
of recent showers. So say Peter Brown of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
and Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in the USA1.

The Leonids are Tempel-Tuttle's debris. The comet sweeps through the inner
Solar System every 33 years. These particles, mostly smaller than a grain of
sand, burn up brightly as they stream through the Earth's atmosphere at
around 150,000 miles an hour.

"A direct impact of even a single grain of dust could be catastrophic for a
satellite," explains Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory, Northern
Ireland. "The particle would vaporize when it struck, creating a plasma," he
says. "This cloud of electrically charged gas could short-circuit the
satellite's delicate electronics".

On the trail

The comet's dust trail takes centuries to disperse. Meanwhile the Earth
passes through the dust on its yearly orbit around the Sun. Each return of
the comet leaves a trail in a slightly different position, so our planet can
encounter several streams in different stages of dissolution in close
succession.

We enter the dust streams end-on so the meteors seem to issue from a single
point in the sky, superimposed on the Leo constellation: hence their name.
This year's Leonid shower will have two activity peaks.

At around 12.00 GMT on 18 November the Earth will pass through streams left
behind in 1766 and 1799. About five hours later we will hit streams from
1866, 1833 and three fainter ones from the seventeenth century.

It should be a spectacular show; but it is hard to predict how spectacular.
As the comet trails get older, their exact location becomes more difficult
to estimate. The first accurate Leonid activity prediction was made in 1999:
the shower produced over 3,000 visible meteors per hour.

Brown and Cooke have estimated how the dust streams disperse over time, for
a range of possible initial states. From observations of previous Leonid
showers, they try to determine which of these initial states is the best
guess. They calculate that the dust streams are broader and more dispersed
than older 2001 forecasts predict, so the showers may be longer but less
intense.

References

Brown, P. & Cooke, B. Model predictions for the 2001 Leonids and
implications for Earth-orbiting satellites. Monthly Notices of the Royal
Astronomical Society, 326, L19 - L22, (2001).

Copyright 2001, Nature News Service / Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2001

==================
(7)  SEA LEVEL STUDY REVEALS ATLANTIS CANDIDATE

>From New Scientist, 19 September 2001
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991320

Jon Copley

It sounds a familiar enough yarn - a lone researcher claiming to have
pinpointed the lost land of Atlantis famously described by Plato. But this
time there is no mention of "supercivilisations", UFOs or magic crystals.
Instead, he has turned the clock back on ancient rises in sea level to
reveal an island that matches Plato's story.

Plato's works Timaeus and Critias contain the first written descriptions of
Atlantis and its watery fate, drawn from stories collected in Egypt. "These
texts are the origin of a lot of speculation about Atlantis," says Jacques
Collina-Girard of the University of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence.

"Curiously, nobody has really taken seriously the most obvious location,"
Collina-Girard adds. According to Plato, Atlantis lay just in front of the
Pillars of Hercules - what we now call the Strait of Gibraltar - and
disappeared around 9000 BC.

Collina-Girard was interested in patterns of human migration from Europe
into North Africa at the height of the last ice age, 19,000 years ago. To
see if Palaeolithic people could have crossed the strait, he made a map of
what the western European coastline looked like at that time, when the sea
level was 130 metres lower than it is now. His reconstruction of the area
reveals an ancient archipelago, with an island at the spot where Plato
described Atlantis.

Rising tide

"There was an island in front of the 'Pillars of Hercules'," says
Collina-Girard. Named Spartel, it lay to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar
just as Plato described. The Strait was longer and narrower than today, and
enclosed a harbour-like inland sea that Plato mentions as the setting for
Atlantis.

Just over 11,000 years ago, the slow rise of post-glacial sea levels
accelerated briefly to more than two metres per century, according to
records from coral reefs. This would have swamped the island, Collina-Girard
suggests. "The archipelago was engulfed 9000 years before Plato," he says.

There are a few facts that don't match Plato's story, however. Plato
describes Atlantis as larger than Libya and Asia put together, whereas
Collina-Girard's island is 14 kilometres long by five kilometres wide. He
argues that a mistake was made in converting Egyptian units of length into
Greek units as the story was passed down.

Plato also reports that volcanic activity sank Atlantis, but this may have
been a case of embellishment, says Collina-Girard. "The Greeks were familiar
with volcanic eruptions," he notes. To them, such a fate might have been
more dramatic and plausible than a change in sea level.

As for an advanced Atlantean civilisation, Collina-Girard points to Plato's
own admission that he grafted these details onto the tale to present his
ideas about a Utopian society.

Long yarn

The lower sea levels of 11,000 years ago would have exposed many islands,
says Bill Ryan of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New
York.

Ryan has examined evidence for the Noah and Gilgamesh flood stories around
the Black Sea. But he cautions that the story of Atlantis would have needed
to survive down the generations for 9000 years in Egypt before being
recorded by the Greeks. "The difficulty here is correct translation of nouns
and adjectives passed down by the oral tradition as languages change and
evolve," he says.

Collina-Girard suggests that the archipelago could have provided stepping
stones for primitive sailors to cross between Europe and North Africa. "The
coasts of Spain and Morocco were inhabited at the time, so certainly these
islands were too," he says. A prehistoric culture spread rapidly in Morocco
around 20,000 years ago. "Traditionally this came from the east, but why not
from the north?" he asks.

Journal reference: Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences (vol 333, p
233)

Copyright 2001, New Scientist

=============
(8) GALILEE DROUGHT UNCOVERS OLDEST VILLAGE IN THE WORLD

>From The Sunday Times, 23 September 2001
http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/

Dina Shiloh Tel Aviv

ISRAELI archeologists have found what could be the world's oldest village on
the dried-out bed of the Sea of Galilee. The settlement, dating back 20,000
years, came to light in one of the worst droughts in recent years.

Thousands of items including huts, tools and fireplaces found at Ohalo, on
the southwestern shore, give a unique insight into the semi-nomadic people
who lived there towards the end of the early Stone Age.

"We found what every researcher dreams of finding," said Dani Nadel, who
leads the Haifa University excavation team, "items used in everyday life,
and small artefacts that tell us things we never even dreamed about in
regard to the technology, society and environment of these people."

The items are in almost perfect condition because the water that covered
them prevented decay. Nadel said the large quantities of seeds and other
organic materials meant carbon-14 testing could be used to date them
accurately.

"Usually dwellings from this period are not preserved, and we do not know
how many they were, where they stood, the number, size, and orientation of
their fireplaces, or how the living area was arranged," he said. "Here we
found the most ancient huts in the world."

The brush huts - less than 2ft apart - were made with branches of oak and
tamarisk trees, with the cracks stuffed with shrubs and grasses.

"These nomads ate mostly fish and fruit," Nadel said. "We are talking about
9,000 years before the beginning of agriculture, before the domestication of
animals or plants. But we did find hundreds of thousands of fish bones, so
they were fishermen. They also knew how to hunt water fowl, ravens, birds of
prey, and even animals like the gazelle, fallow deer, fox, hare and turtle."

The team also found the skeleton of a man. Aged about 40 when he died and
just over 5ft tall, he had his hands folded across his chest. Only one other
skeleton from this period has been discovered in Israel.

Haifa University intends to display some of the treasures from Ohalo next
year. The excavation ended last month and the team has left plenty of
material for other archeologists to find when scientific techniques have
become more developed.

"The finds unearthed by our team could serve as research material for each
and every one of us until we retire," Nadel said. "But we should leave
future archeologists things to discover, too."

Copyright 2001, The Sunday Times

=============================
* CATASTROPHISM & TERRORISM *
=============================

(9) THE BIOLOGICAL THREAT: DEFENSE MAY BE INADEQUATE FOR GERM OR TOXIC
ATTACKS

>From The New York Times, 23 September 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/23/national/23GERM.html

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and MELODY PETERSEN

Minutes after two jets slammed into the World Trade Center, an elite team of
22 soldiers was ordered from its base in Scotia, N.Y., to the scene of the
disaster, the world's worst terror attack.

By 8:30 that night, the unit had deployed special gear in New York City and
was quietly sampling the air, making sure the terrorists had released no
deadly germs or toxic chemicals, which in theory could cause widespread
illness and death.

No such dangers were found. But despite the fast start, experts say civil
defenses across the nation are a rudimentary patchwork that could prove
inadequate for what might lie ahead, especially lethal germs, which are
considered some of the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Many
experts approve of President Bush's decision to appoint a cabinet secretary
for Homeland Security, calling it an important step toward protecting
civilians against terrorist arms.

The emergency teams "did very well in dealing with this attack," Tara
O'Toole, a physician at the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns
Hopkins University, said in an interview. "But we've never really had a test
of the hospital system where people in large numbers required sophisticated
medical care."

Moreover, there are no measures to routinely check for biological attack.
Instead, the authorities rely on reports from doctors that people are
seeking medical attention for unusual symptoms. That is why the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta issued a national alert on Sept.
11 calling on public health officials to "initiate heightened surveillance
for any unusual disease occurrence or increased numbers of illnesses that
might be associated with today's events."

The alert is still in effect. "We haven't heard a thing," one federal
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of any reports of
unusual disease patterns.

But medical experts often fault this approach as inadequate, especially
because symptoms of serious illness often appear days and weeks after an
infection has begun to spread and when life-saving treatments are no longer
effective.

The nation is "woefully unprepared to deal with bioterrorism," Jerome M.
Hauer, former head of emergency management for New York City, told Congress
two months ago.

How serious is the threat? Today it is considered low. Experts say that
biological weapons, with few exceptions, are hard to make and use. In the
early 1990's, Aum Shinriko, a Japanese cult, launched germ attacks in and
around Tokyo that were meant to kill millions. The strikes produced no known
injuries or deaths.

But the chances that some rogue state or terrorist group will successfully
deploy germ weapons are seen as rising, as knowledge of how to make deadly
weapons spreads, along with the necessary technology.

"There's a greater risk of dying on the highway than from exposure to
anthrax," said Jonathan B. Tucker, a germ-weapons expert in the Washington,
D.C., office of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

But Dr. Tucker cautioned that the attacks on New York and near Washington
were unusual in showing a high degree of care and preparation, suggesting
that terrorists "may be able to overcome the technical hurdles" to mass
destruction, especially if aided by rogue states or scientists.

George J. Tenet, director of central intelligence, warned Congress last year
that terrorists were exploring how "rapidly evolving and spreading
technologies might enhance the lethality of their operations." A number of
groups, he said, are seeking germ, chemical, radiological or nuclear arms.

Mr. Tenet added that operatives of Osama bin Laden, the renegade Saudi
millionaire suspected in the Sept. 11 attacks, "have trained to conduct
attacks with toxic chemicals or biological toxins."

Military experts say germ weapons can be cheaper, stealthier and potentially
more devastating than nuclear arms, though hard for terrorists to acquire
and use without hurting themselves.

Shock waves from the recent suicide attacks, experts agree, could help forge
a consensus to erect better defenses against unconventional weapons,
reversing decades of neglect of civil defense. Many government reports and
private experts have criticized recent efforts as wasteful, poorly
coordinated among some 40 federal agencies and ill suited for dealing with a
wide spectrum of possible threats.

The Clinton administration, rocked by terrorist attacks on Americans at home
and abroad, embarked on a wide but sporadic campaign to build civil
defenses. Among other things, the campaign established a national stockpile
of drugs and vaccines and on Sept. 11, Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of the
Department of Health and Human Services, authorized the first shipments from
it, sending truckloads of emergency drugs, bandages, dressings and other
medical supplies to New York City.

Even so, Dr. O'Toole of the Johns Hopkins center said, the nation has
vaccines or drugs to combat only about a dozen of the 50 pathogens thought
to be the likeliest threats.

As part of the stockpile push, the disease control centers last year awarded
a $343 million contract for making 40 million doses of smallpox vaccine, the
first of which is due in 2004. The disease is a contagious killer of high
fevers and open sores.

Though smallpox was eliminated from human populations in the late 1970's,
stocks of the virus still exist and making vaccine has become a priority as
worries over bioterrorism have grown.

The United States has on hand roughly 7.5 million vaccine doses, said Dr.
Tucker in "Scourge," a new book on smallpox. That amount, he added, is
"inadequate to cope with even a medium-sized outbreak that might result from
a bioterrorist attack."

This year, federal and private officials met to act out how the government
would cope with a smallpox outbreak. The exercise, code named Dark Winter,
ended in chaos when the spreading disease overwhelmed all attempts at
containment.

"Most state and local governments have not begun to address the issues that
Dark Winter presented," Mr. Hauer told a House Government Reform
subcommittee in July. "An incident using biological agents will likely go
unnoticed for days, and the typical response of the first responders will
have little impact. It is not a `lights and sirens' type of incident."

In the last few years, New York City has quietly undertaken many efforts to
counter attacks with deadly chemicals or germs.

One program, the kind that the disease control centers called for nationally
on Sept. 11, monitors patterns of emergency hospitalizations. Another trains
city police officers and firefighters to handle such emergencies, including
the decontamination of materials and people.

Stephen S. Morse, a biologist at Columbia University who directs its Center
for Public Health Preparedness, which is part of a new national network of
such groups run by the disease control centers, recently helped the city set
up a program for training school nurses as well.

"Their main role would be sheltering people and ministering in the
shelters," Mr. Morse said. "You hope for the best, and prepare for the
worst."

The Defense Department, meanwhile, is continuing a wide effort, begun in the
Clinton administration, to have university scientists and biotech companies
come up with innovative ways to combat a variety of disease agents.

Copyright 2001, The New York Times

=============
(10) THE BLITZ SPIRIT: GAS MASKS SELL OUT IN NEW YORK

>From The Times 24 September 2001
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2001330005-2001331322,00.html

FROM JAMES BONE IN NEW YORK

THE anxious customers who come to Gary Hugo's army surplus shop on Canal
Street are not fretting about the acrid fumes and possible asbestos dust in
the air from the World Trade Centre collapse. They are terrified of the next
attack.

Since the devastation of the twin towers half a mile away, the gnarled
Romanian immigrant has sold "a couple of thousand" gas masks from the stock
he has kept in his basement since the last frenzy during the Gulf War.

"These people are panicked. They want to be ready," he explains. "For the
price of a good dinner they have got a chance to escape. As a way to calm
down, it's better than an aspirin."

News that suspects had received driving licences for "hazardous materials"
lorries and had gathered details about crop-dusting planes has put New
Yorkers in a tizzy about possible chemical or biological warfare.

As the shocked citizenry strives to return to normal, a pall of fear is
hanging over the city. At every dinner party in town conversation will
eventually turn to the dreaded word: "Anthrax."

Peter Rappoport, a British banker and father of two, admits: "I, of course,
read up about anthrax on the Web because I was having a discusssion with a
friend about what the next atrocity was going to be. I said 'bombs' and he
said: 'No, germ warfare.' "

Experts caution that it is a waste of money to buy a gas mask unless you
plan to wear it all the time because you never know where you will be when
an attack takes place. Worse, some nerve agents can kill simply on contact
with the skin. Germ agents can incubate for days before their presence is
even known.

The best thing to do, experts advise, is to stay inside, completely sealed
off from outside air, and wait there for several days for the poison to
disperse.

State and federal officials are monitoring air quality in New York at 11
sites around Ground Zero and have tightened security around the reservoirs
that feed the city's water supply. So far they have said nothing to provoke
alarm.

Even so, almost all army and navy surplus shops in Manhattan have sold out
of gas masks since the attack. For the desperate, all roads now lead to Mr
Hugo's The Trader just across the street from the police barricades that
block Lower Manhattan.

There, too, the popular $70 ($48) Israeli model, presumed by many to be the
most effective because of its country of origin, is already out of stock. A
mere $30 will buy you a Korean War vintage mask that sucks the face in an
unwelcome rubbery kiss. Fitted with the latest Israeli filter, for only $10
more, the mask promises a measure of protection that could buy enough time
to flee a noxious cloud.

At the top of the range Mr Hugo can sell you the latest US Army
tank-driver's mask with an infra-red protection in the goggles and a hose
from the face to a little metal box containing a battery operated air
compressor. It costs $1,500.

The severely scared - or perhaps they are just the most prudent - will also
want to buy the complete body protection available in the $100 khaki plastic
kit-bag that contains a hooded jumpsuit with charcoal filter woven into the
cloth. Mr Hugo has already sold about ten. The package comes with its own
dose of anthrax vaccine, but Mr Hugo is not allowed to sell it because he is
not a registered chemist.

Mr Hugo offers no guarantees with his gas masks. All he will say is that
they are effective against "most of the gases" and will buy some time.

"You are not going to sit next to the bomb and watch it. But you have time
to escape. If it's a concentrated gas you have nearly an hour. If it's a
normal gas, you have four hours. Against the Kurds they used weak gas
because they have no protection at all. But if they are fighting soldiers
they put a bit more venom in."

In Britain, sales of gas masks have also rocketed since September 11.
Surplus and Adventure, an army surplus store in Worcestershire, has sold
more than 600 gas masks in the past few days. Sean Kerr, who owns the store,
which has also received orders over the Internet, said that he would
normally sell 25 masks a year.

"We are receiving orders from across the country, particularly from the
financial world, and are selling out as soon as the stock comes in," he
said. He added that 300 protective suits and Nato ration packs had also been
sold since the attack on the US.

Copyright 2001, The Times

=============
(11) COMMENTARY: POISONING A CITY IS HARDER THAN IN OUR NIGHTMARES

>From Los Angeles Times, 24 September 2001

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-000076592sep24.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcomment%2Dopinions

By AVIGDOR HASELKORN, Avigdor Haselkorn is the author of "The Continuing
Storm: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons and Deterrence," (Yale University Press,
1999)

Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in masterminding the terrorist attacks on
the U.S., has never denied his interest in acquiring nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons--although that doesn't appear to be the direction in which
he is headed.

In a television interview in 1999, he said, "To seek to possess the weapons
that could counter those of the infidels is a religious duty." Indeed, in
court documents unsealed in 1998 in connection with the trial of the bombers
of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, U.S. prosecutors charged that
Bin Laden has made efforts to obtain the components of chemical weapons as
early as 1993. One of his disciples, Ahmed Ressam, who was sentenced to 140
years in prison for his role in the plot to bomb the Los Angeles
International Airport, testified in court that he and others were taught to
use cyanide, including how to feed it into air ducts in buildings to kill
large number of people.

In an affidavit filed recently by the U.S. Justice Department to extradite
two members of Bin Laden's Al Queda terrorist organization from Britain,
evidence was presented of at least two attempts by the group to buy enriched
uranium to make a nuclear weapon. The recent attacks on U.S. soil amply
demonstrate that America's strategic deterrence has failed. Indeed, in the
wake of the horrific attacks on the U.S., many have concluded that the use
of weapons of mass destruction may be imminent.

On Sept. 11, the FAA temporarily grounded all crop-dusters for fear they
could be used to spray chemical or biological agents. Sen. Bob Graham
(D-Fla.), chairman of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, said
that the CIA told him that "there were other acts of terrorism in the U.S.
and elsewhere that were part of this plan. Not necessarily hijacking another
airliner but maybe putting a chemical in a city's water system." On Sept.
18, the Senate Press Gallery told reporters they would be given gas masks as
a precaution.

Yet on closer examination it appears that Bin Laden so far has opted for
using "conventional" weaponry in his war on the U.S.

There are numerous reasons for this choice. First, while it is relatively
easy to produce chemical and biological agents, dispersing them effectively
requires a high level of technical proficiency. Recall that early Iraqi
attempts to conduct chemical warfare in its war with Iran were not only
ineffective, they ended up contaminating Iraqi soldiers themselves.

The Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo, also known as the Aum Supreme
Truth, simultaneously released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several
Tokyo subway trains in 1995. It was able to kill just 12 people and injure
several thousand--most of the latter from the ensuing panic--because of
problems with the agent as well as its method of dissemination. The group
attempted to disperse anthrax and botulinum toxin at least five times
without success, despite the fact that the group had at its disposal
chemists and molecular biologists as well as modern laboratories.

Similarly, attempts to poison the population of a U.S. city by contaminating
its water supplies with chemical or biological agents would likely fail.

Palestinian terrorists have tried the chemical route against the Israel
national water carrier without success. Generally, chlorinated water
supplies inactivate toxins within 20 minutes. Even fresh water naturally
inactivates botulinum toxin within three to six days.

The point is that Bin Laden's method of attack provided higher confidence in
the results.

Equally important, the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
indicate that Bin Laden sought to achieve the following objectives:

First, inflict mass casualties to signal the ruthlessness of the attackers
and frighten and intimidate the United States.

Second, cause mass destruction, allowing Bin Laden show to his followers as
well as enemies that U.S. power would turn into rubble when confronted by
Islam's warriors.

Third, martyrdom; by opting for a suicide mission, Bin Laden has signaled
that he is undeterrable. "We will win because we are ready to go all the way
and pay any price," is the unmistakable message.

Fourth, destroy the symbols of America's might; the attack was aimed at the
centers of the U.S. military and economic power.

While chemical and biological attacks could certainly cause mass killings
and could even be pinpointed against a building such as the Pentagon, such
attacks would not provide the spectacular destruction that Bin Laden sought.
Moreover, biological and chemical warfare does not lend itself to martyrdom
the way a fiery crash of a plane does.

Thus, if these criteria continue to hold, the greatest care should be given
to protecting the U.S. government's nuclear, biological and chemical
facilities and laboratories from a suicide attack either from the air or the
ground.

Copyright 2001, Los Angeles Times

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

(12) NAMING MINOR PLANETS AFTER TERROR VICTIMS
 
>From  Vinzenz  Lübben  <vluebben@t-online.de >
 
Dear Mr. Peiser,
 
At the Cambridge Conference Correspondence Menu, September 17, 2001 you
wrote: "... The suggestion by Vinzenz Luebben, an amateur astronomer, to
name these minor planets (which are currently awaiting numbering and
official IAU naming) in honour of the terror victims has triggered a lively
debate on the Minor Planet Mailing List. ..."
 
Unfortunately, I am no amateur astronomer at all. I am an archivist living
in Koeln (Cologne), Germany, who is interested in astronomy (especially the
discovery of minor planets and comets), only. Therefore I am a member of
different Yahoo! groups regarding to astronomy. And, in one of this groups I
suggested to name minor planets after the victims of Tuesday 11th, which
caused a lively, but sometimes narrow minded discussion.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Vinzenz Lübben (Luebben)

================
(13) THE DESTRUCTIVE FORCES UNLEASHED

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

Dear Benny,

CCNet postings have refrained from comparing an asteroid impact with the
destruction of the World Trade Centre. It is inappropriate to attempt to
make milage out of those traumatic events. I would, however, like to point
out an obvious omission from a BBC item 'The destructive forces
unleashed'.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1550000/1550326.stm

It sets out the energy involved in the WTC events. The foot of the article
includes a comparison table of the energy of other events. Absent from the
table is the 1908 Tunguska event. The Tunguska object had a kinetic energy
of about 6x10^16 Joules or 15 Mt of TNT. This was around a 1000 times that
of the Hiroshima bomb so the potential for destruction of cities is very
serious. Tunguska was probably the largest  geographically indiscriminate
explosion of the last century (volcanic explosions such as Mt St Helens and
major earthquakes are confined to geologically active and somewhat
predictable areas but cosmic impacts can occur anywhere at any time). Events
like Tunguska may occur with a typical frequency of about once per century.
I have estimated that there is an annual probabilty of about 1 in 1000 that
such an explosion will occur over a populated region of the Earth.
(http://www4.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/spacegd7.html#impacts )

Also, by strange coincidence, early in September I was asked to write a
short opinion piece for The Canberra Times on why there should be an
Australian Spaceguard project. I decided to go for the shock treatment
approach and described the effects of a 1km asteroid striking Canberra city.
Canberra of course became a 20km wide crater. I described buildings being
knocked down in Nowra, 200km away and Melbourne being smothered by debris
and dust. It was unnerving to subsequently see, on TV coverage of the
streets of New York, some of the events I had described for an asteorid
impact. My article is scheduled for 27th September. I don't know if it will
still run but I have asked the editor to point out that it was written
before the tragic events in New York.

regards
Michael Paine

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