PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 78/2003 - 29 September 2003
FIREBALL HITS EASTERN INDIA
---------------------------------


At least 20 people are reported to have been injured after a meteorite crashed
to Earth in eastern India. Reports say hundreds of people in the state of
Orissa panicked when the fireball streamed across the sky. Burning fragments were
said to have fallen over a wide area, destroying several houses.
     --BBC News Online, 28 Sept. 2003


(1) METEORITE WRECKS HOUSES IN INDIA

(2) METEOR HITS IN EASTERN INDIA

(3) METEORITE STRIKES INDIAN VILLAGE

(4) METEOR CAUSES PANIC IN ORISSA

(5) A LARGE IMPACT CRATER NEAR LAKE EILDON

(6) SOHO TEAM RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

(7) ERRATA


=======
(1) METEORITE WRECKS HOUSES IN INDIA

BBC News Online, 28 Sept. 2003
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3146692.stm
 
At least 20 people are reported to have been injured after a meteorite crashed to Earth in eastern India.

Reports say hundreds of people in the state of Orissa panicked when the fireball streamed across the sky.

Burning fragments were said to have fallen over a wide area, destroying several houses.

An official in Orissa said the authorities were assessing the damage and trying to recover what was left of the meteor.

Reports from Orissa said windows rattled as the meteor passed overhead.

"It was all there for just a few seconds but it was like daylight everywhere," one resident said.

Rarity

Experts estimate about 100 tons of extraterrestrial dust grains fall to earth each day.

Occasionally, a dark pebble or fist-size object will rain down, with boulder-sized objects or bigger being a historical rarity.

The only recorded fatality from a meteor was an Egyptian dog that had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1911.

Seven decades later, scientists recognised the dog had been struck by a meteorite from Mars.

Copyright 2003, BBC
=============
(2) METEOR HITS IN EASTERN INDIA

The Age, 28 Sept 2003
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/09/28/1064687674374.html

Hundreds of people fled their homes when a meteor struck their village in eastern India, injuring three people and destroying two houses, a state minister says.

The fireball hit the village of Sudusudia in Orissa state, said BB Harichandan, the state revenue minister.

"One person has sustained burn injuries and two houses have been burned down. The injured has been hospitalised," the minister said.

Another two were hospitalised after falling unconscious, apparently from shock, local newspaper Dharitri reported.

"The light was so bright that for a few seconds it appeared to be daylight," said Sanatan Sahu, a villager.

Meteors, pulled by gravity toward earth, usually burn out in the planet's atmosphere and disintegrate before making an impact.

"Though incidents of this kind are a rare phenomenon in this region, such celestial occurrences are common in space," said J Kar of the Pathani Samanta Planetarium in the state capital Bhubaneshwar.

©2003 AAP

==========
(3) METEORITE STRIKES INDIAN VILLAGE

CNN, 28 Sept. 2003
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/09/28/india.meteorite/
 
BHUBANESWAR, India -- Two people have been injured and several homes badly damaged by a suspected meteorite crashing into a village in eastern India, reports said Sunday.

The fiery object crashed to earth shortly after sunset Saturday in the coastal state of Orissa, the Press Trust of India reported.

Witnesses reported a bright fireball briefly lighting up the night sky and causing panic among local residents, the PTI report said.

Reports from several districts described an ear spitting noise that shattered several windows as the object sped overhead.

At least one part of the fireball came down in a village in Mayurbhanj district, setting several homes alight and lightly injuring at least two people.

The report said other parts of the suspected meteorite may have crashed into another village, also setting at least one thatched house ablaze.

Officials in the area have been asked to collect any remaining samples of the object for scientific analysis.

The PTI quoted local meteorological and space experts as saying the object was most likely a meteor.

Hundreds of small objects strike the Earth's atmosphere every day, creating what are commonly known as shooting stars or, more properly, meteors.

However, all but a few burn up or explode well before they hit the ground as a result of the friction caused by entering the Earth's atmosphere at speeds in excess of 10,000 kilometers an hour.

Those few rocks that do survive the fiery journey are known as meteorites.

Copyright 2003, CNN

========

===========
(4) METEOR CAUSES PANIC IN ORISSA

The Tribune of India, 27 Sept. 2003
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20030928/main8.htm

Bhubaneswar, September 27
Night turned into day for a few seconds as a huge ball of fire, believed to be a meteor, streaked across the sky in coastal Orissa causing panic among the people today.

Official sources, admitting the occurrence of the phenomenon, said collectors of all districts where the fireball was sighted had been asked to report to the government about it.

Remnants of the fireball had landed in a village under the Kaptipada police station in Mayurbhanj district starting a fire there, Revenue minister Biswabhushan Harichandan said quoting official reports.

We have asked the collectors to report about the matter, he said.

Panic-stricken people in at least 11 Orissa districts saw the fireball streak across the sky as the darkness was completely dispelled for a few seconds at around 6.30 pm.

Reports from Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts said the phenomenon was accompanied by ear-splitting noise which even shattered the doors and windows.

The other districts which reported the sighting were Cuttack, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Angul, Bhadrak and Balasore.

People on the streets of the capital city here saw the flash of light for a second or two but there was no noise.

Meteological Department sources said it could be a meteor which had landed somewhere in the state. Dr Prahallad Chandra Nayak, former director of the Pathani Samanta Planetarium here, also agreed saying that it was a shooting star.

A report from Baripada said people saw two fireballs landing in Sudsudia village under the Kaptipada police station setting ablaze a thatched house.

Two women received injuries following the incident while another person present nearby fell unconscious. They were being treated at the local hospital.

The authorities were investigating reports that remnants of the meteor had landed in Jagatsinghpur district.

A report from Kendrapara said three persons, including a woman, from different villages in the district had been admitted into the district headquarter hospital after falling unconscious as they witnessed the rare occurrence. PTI

============
(5) A LARGE IMPACT CRATER NEAR LAKE EILDON

http://thylacoleo.mybravenet.com/eildon/eildon01.html

They say you should always keep an eye out for anomalies : you never know what you might
turn up.

While looking through satellite images of areas we're interested in re the Quest, I noticed
a funny looking circular structure, north of Lake Eildon in Victoria, Australia, and
somewhat SE of the town of Mansfield. The structure looks to be about 5 km in diameter.
Could it be an ancient impact crater? I've never heard of any such structure in that part
of Victoria.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution image of the same view. Beware - 400 KB!
The "crater", if that's what it is, is approximately in centre field. North is approximately towards the top left corner of the image, Lake Eildon is the large, serpentine water body
at bottom of the frame : the object is the circular structure roughly in the centre. NASA/JPL refs are :-

Map Refs are :- Sheet 8123 (ed. 1) MANSFIELD, Australia, Scale 1:100,000, National Topographic Map Series, Division of National Mapping, "NATMAP", Commonwealth of Australia. Approximate Lat. & Long. is  37S, 147E.

I was intrigued and, as my brother Ian and one of his friends were going up to the town of Jamieson at the eastern end of Lake Eildon on the long weekend, 11& 12 March this year (2000),
I asked them to go have a look.

They went to the "Blue Ranges", a rocky ridge SW of the object and viewed it from there. From
the ground, the object is a large circular shaped basin or depression. The landscape is so
hilly and irregular that, even viewed from a modest elevation, it's hard to make out unless you're specifically looking for it. You can see rock strata facing into the basin. The centre
appears to be an elevated dome. It's heavily eroded,  filled with rolling hills and scoured
by gullies and drainage channels, the outer "rim" is not continuous, the hills surrounding it
are rugged and steep.

The structure really only manifests itself when viewed from a great height. Like from a satellite!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The NE rim of the object, on the side opposite to the observer, is the line of hills somewhat blued out by haze. They show strata facing inwards towards the basin or "crater"(?). The land rises towards the closest rim, obscuring the view of the basin. The 3rd image is the view from a road passing due south of the object. Again we see part of a raised rim concealing a large basin or depression. Again, upturned strata are visible along parts of the rim. The rim is missing altogether in some places : the whole thing is heavily eroded.    
The whole area is open grassland used for sheep farming, mainly. You can't access the object uninvited 'cause it's all private farmland. The farmstead of Beolite looks to lie on the northern edge of the structure and the "Delatite" farm/winery appears to occupy most of the centre and eastern portion. It's so big that, when driving through it, you really can't see anything to identify a "crater" structure. A case of not seeing the terrain for the hills? My dad says the basin looks like it might have been filled with water at some time in the past : maybe it formed a lake of melt water from the Bogong-Kosciuszko glacier back in the Ice Age?
So could it really be an ancient, heavily eroded impact crater? So what if it was once a lake? Maybe it filled with water from time to time, over millions of years? The rocks roundabouts all look to be sedimentary. How do you get a large circular structure impressed on a non-volcanic land form? I'm no geologist, so ... who knows?

There's a road leading north across the eastern side of the "crater". Ian collected some rocks - brown sedimentary ones and some quartz. If a big meteorite fell to Earth here, millions of years ago, there should be shocked quartz. Trouble is, to a lay person, how does shocked quartz look different from the plain ordinary sort? In any case you gotta be careful 'cuz rock used for road fill is often trucked in from elsewhere.

The question is, is it an old meteorite crater or just some fluke of the landscape?
If any geologists happen to visit this web site sometimes, I'd be mighty interested to
hear an opinion.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Views from outside and inside the structure. Is it an impact crater? Sure seems to have all the right features. At least to me - but what do I know? We probably now need to take a closer look at the local rocks.  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Certain material on this page is reproduced from publicly available sources and is intended
for study, educational or research purposes only, under the terms of the "fair dealing"
provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, sec. 41, Commonwealth of Australia, and any
or all succeeding Acts of Parliament and/or regulations pertaining thereto. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright © 2001-2002 to Debbie & Ian Hynes.  URL  : http://www.thylacoleo.co

============
(6) SOHO TEAM RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

Pål Brekke <pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov>

The SOHO Team Receives Prestigious Award

Yestderday members of teh SOHO team received a prestigious award from IAA
during a ceremony in Bremen, Germany.

A short summmary of an ESA/NASA release can be found here:
http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/
A full version wil be posted around 10 AM this morning on:
http://sci.esa.int/
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov

A few images and illustrations that can go with story can be foundt here.
Note that this link should not be published, it is only for you to grab
images.
http://zeus.nascom.nasa.gov/~pbrekke/soho/SOHO-AWARD/

From Monday afternoon I will be at the SOHO workshop at Mallorca.
Hotel Riu Bravo: Tel. (34)971266300 Fax. (34) 971 26 42 42

Hopfull my Norwegian cemm phone will work: +47 9087 1961

Regards

Paal

=============
Prestigious award for SOHO

The SOHO team has been presented with the prestigious Laurels for Team
Achievement Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).  not

The award recognises both the outstanding achievements in designing, building
and operating the mission, as well as the science it has performed. It is a
tribute to a team that has contributed to one of the most successful space
missions in history.

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) presents the Laurels for Team
Achievement Award in recognition of extraordinary performance and achievement by
teams of scientists, engineers and managers in the field of astronautics. This
honour has been awarded only twice before - to the Russian Mir Space Station
Team and the US Space Shuttle Team. Now the SOHO team joins this select group. 

The citation of the award for the SOHO team reads: "To the team of scientists,
engineers, and managers for the development and operation of a world class
mission leading to substantial advancements in understanding the Sun and the
solar-terrestrial relationshipFor the development and operation of a world-class
mission leading to substantial advancements in understanding the Sun and the
solar-terrestrial relationship. Mankind's knowledge and understanding of the
dynamic processes within and around the Sun and the solar-terrestrial
interactions have multiplied manifold since SOHO began its operations in 1995.".

SOHO has an impressive and unique list of achievements. Some of the key results
include:

- Revealing the first images ever of a star's convection zone (its turbulent
outer shell) and of the structure below sunspots.

- Providing the most detailed and precise measurements of the temperature
structure, the interior rotation, and gas flows in the solar interior.

- Measuring the acceleration of the slow and fast solar wind.
Identifying the source regions and acceleration mechanism of the fast solar wind
in the magnetically "open" regions at the Sun's poles.

- Discovering new dynamic solar phenomena such as coronal waves and solar
tornadoes.

- Revolutionising our ability to forecast space weather, by giving up to three
days notice of Earth-directed disturbances, and playing a lead role in the early
warning system for space weather.

- Monitoring the total solar irradiance (the 'solar constant') as well as
variations  in the extreme ultra violet flux, both of which are important to
understand the impact of solar variability on Earth's climate.

However, during eight years of operation, the team has had to face several
heart-stopping  moments. But with extraordinary team spirit, skill and
competence, they turned these episodes into remarkable success stories. In June
1998, control of the spacecraft was lost and the team fought for three months
before regaining contact with the spacecraft. Then all three on-board gyroscopes
failed. Again, the team rose to the challenge by reprogramming the spacecraft to
completely eliminate the reliance on gyroscopes. In doing so, they crossed
another frontier in space - SOHO became the first three-axis stabilized
spacecraft to be operated without gyroscopes.

In May 2003, the East-West pointing mechanism of SOHO's high-gain
antenna started showing signs of a possible breakdown. With this threat to the
mission's lifeline, many people feared once again that the mission was in
danger. After a long and arduous diagnostic process and a careful analysis of
all options, the team decided to park the antenna in an "ideal" position, where
data losses are minimised by rotating the spacecraft 180º every three months. In
addition, new procedures and larger ground antennas (when available) can be used
to all but eliminate the impacts to normal science operations.

At all times of the mission, the team continued to produce excellent science,
and SOHO has revolutionised the way scientists think about the Sun and how it
might affect Earth's environment. More than 1500 papers, representing the work
of more than 1500 scientists, have been published based on SOHO data. And with
SOHO still going strong, the success story is set to continue.

Bernhard Fleck and Paal Brekke, ESA's SOHO Project Scientist and Deputy Project
Scientist, said: "We are surprised but delighted feel very honoredhonoured to
receive this award on behalf of the SOHO science teams, especially considering
the prestigious teams that have won before [well, hope that's not a bad omen:
MIR gone, the shuttle in deep trouble, ? are we next?]. It is a boost for all of
us involved in this mission to know that our work has been recognised in this
way."

Note to editors

The award ceremony took place on 28 September 2003, the opening day of the 54th
International Astronautical Congress, in Bremen, Germany.
(see http://www.iaanet.org/awards/laurels.html).
The International Academy of Astronautics was founded in 1960, in Stockholm,
Sweden, to foster the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes. Its
current membership includes individuals from 68 countries

The SOHO project is the result of an international effort. Fourteen European
countries, led by the European Space Agency and prime contractor Astrium
(formerly Matra-Marconi), built the SOHO spacecraft. It carries twelve
instruments (nine European-led and three American-led) and was launched by an
American Atlas II-AS rocket on 2 December 1995. The spacecraft was designed for
a two-year-mission but its spectacular success has led to two extensions of the
mission, first  until 2003, and then again until March 2007.

Contact detailsFor more information, contact:
ESA Communication Department
Media Relations Office
Paris, France
Tel: +33 (0)15369 7155
Fax: +33 (0)15369 7690

Bernhard Fleck, ESA - SOHO Project Scientist
c/o NASA Goddard Space Flight Center , Greenbelt MD, US   
Tel: +1 301 286 4098
Email: bfleck@esa.nascom.nasa.gov

Pål Brekke, ESA - SOHO Deputy Project Scientist
c/o NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD, US     
Tel: +1 301 286 6983
Email: pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov

For more information about SOHO visit:
http://soho.estec.esa.nl/

For more information about the ESA Science Programme visit:
http://www.esa.int/science
For more information about ESA visit:
http://www.esa.int


More facts about SOHO:
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=30992

Graphics of the Spacecraft
http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/SC/

Interactive 3D model of SOHO
http://spdxdev.estec.esa.nl/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=32991

=====================================================================
Dr. Pål Brekke       |         Tel: +1-301-286-6983
SOHO Deputy Project Scientist       |         Mob: +1-301-996-9028
European Space Agency       |         Fax: +1-301-286-0264
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center      |  pbrekke@esa.nascom.nasa.gov
Mail Code 682.3, Bld. 26,  Room G-1   |
Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.       | http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/
=====================================================================

========= LETTERS ===========

(7) ERRATA

Andrew Glikson <geospec@webone.com.au>

Dear Benny,

Please convey the following message in the next CCNet bulletin:

"Errata: in the news item regarding the early Proterozoic Pilbara impact
fallout layer, CCNet 26.9.03, substitute all 'DS' symbols with 'DG'
symbols".

Andrew Glikson
27.9.03


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Information circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the
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*

CCNet 79/2003 - 29 September 2003
METEORITE SHOWER DAZZLES INDIANS
---------------------------------


Officials investigating a meteorite that crashed in eastern
India say it was part of the most spectacular meteor shower
in the country's recent history. Flaming debris from the space
rock lit up the sky in Orissa state on Saturday night, and sent
villagers running after its burning fragments set fire to their
houses... Bishwa Bhushan Harichandan, a minister in Orissa's
state government, told the BBC the fireball was seen by people
in "seven to eight districts, covering about 14,000 to 15,000 #
square kilometres".
--BBC News Online, 29 Sept. 2003


(1) METEOR DAZZLES INDIANS

(2) GSI TEAM FINDS FRAGMENTS OF METEORITE IN COASTAL ORISSA

(3) METEORITE FALL IN INDIA

(4) ORISSA METEORITE STRIKE/ATEN CLUSTER?

===============
(1) METEOR DAZZLES INDIANS

BBC News Online, 29 Sept. 2003
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3149404.stm

Officials investigating a meteorite that crashed in eastern India
say it was part of the most spectacular meteor shower in the
country's recent history.
 
Flaming debris from the space rock lit up the sky in Orissa state
on Saturday night, and sent villagers running after its burning
fragments set fire to their houses.

"I have never seen a meteor covering such a large area with a
huge fireball and roaring sound," said Basant Kumar Mohanty,
senior director of the Geological Survey of India.

According to state authorities, two large fragments of the
meteorite, weighing roughly five kilograms each, have been recovered.

Shock

Meanwhile, locals in Orissa have been describing what they saw.

"I first mistook it for... a crashing aircraft, when I saw the
huge fireball with so much bright light," said Bandita Das, a
housewife.

"For about 10 seconds, the evening on Saturday got lighted up. I
panicked and took my kids inside the house."

Bishwa Bhushan Harichandan, a minister in Orissa's state government,
told the BBC the fireball was seen by people in "seven to eight
districts, covering about 14,000 to 15,000 square kilometres".

He said only three people had been injured as a result of the meteorite
falling to earth. Earlier reports said at least 20 people had been
hurt.

An old man receiving treatment in hospital is also reported to have
died of shock on seeing the meteor.

The people of Orissa are familiar with cyclones and floods, and
according to correspondents, they feel Saturday's meteor shower has
added a new threat to their lives.

Scientists say, however, the risk of being killed by a falling
meteorite is not worth worrying about.

Copyright 2003, BBC

===============
(2) GSI TEAM FINDS FRAGMENTS OF METEORITE IN COASTAL ORISSA

Hindustan Times, 29 Sept. 2003
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_395366,000900030010.htm

Press Trust of India
Bhubaneswar, September 29

A team of the Geologicial Survey of India (GSI) has stumbled upon
certain fragments of the meteorite that dazzled the sky in coastal
Orissa on Saturday night, official sources said.

The team, which visited the Sudusudia village in Mayurbhanj district,
had reported about the findings which resembled metallic flakes.

Villagers had witnessed the fireball landing on a thatched house
which was completely burnt.

District authorities had earlier said that though the house had
been gutted, no remnants of the meteorite had been found.

The GSI team was also scheduled to visit some places of Balasore
and Bhadrak districts in search of the debris.

Officials had reported finding of two unusual-looking rocks in
different villages of Mahakalapada block on Sunday. A GSI team had
also gone there to examine the rocks, the sources said.

In a rare occurrence, the meteorite streaked across the night sky
dispelling the darkness for a few seconds. People in 11 Orissa
districts and two districts of West Bengal had reported to have seen
the spectacle.

Copyright 2003, Hindustan Times

 
========== LETTERS ===========

(3) METEORITE FALL IN INDIA

Vishnu Reddy <vishnureddy@hotmail.com>

Dear Sir,

Just want to add that several pieces of the suspected meteorite
have been recovered by a team from the Physical Research Laboratory
for study. The team had to rush in before the Geological Survey of
India could claim the meteorites. We have a strange British era rule
here in India that everything that falls from the sky belongs to the
GSI. But unfortunately GSI doesn't have any experts or interest in
meteorites and the collection is not even open to Indian researchers!
So the scientists rush to the fall site before GSI does and pick the
meteorites.

Clear skies
Vishnu Reddy
Spaceguard India
www.spaceguardindia.com

==============
(4) ORISSA METEORITE STRIKE/ATEN CLUSTER?

Andy Smith <astrosafe22000@yahoo.com>

Hello Benny and CCNet,

We appreciate your timely attention to the Orissa
impact (CCNet 78/2003, today). We exercised our little
global emergency technical network, over the weekend,
and are getting additional details which we will send
to you, as well as updates on Vitimsky.

These two events happened about a year apart (25
September 2002 and 27 September 2003) and we think it
prudent to look for possible connections. High on our
list of possibilities is some sort of Aten cluster and
we want to ask for inputs, from the larger telescopes,
on anything else that may be close to us, at this
time. Because they are likely to be very small (mag.
30 range), it may be hard to find them. Our immediate
concern is related to next September.

We are very fortunate to have an excellent NEO study
group in India and they are helping a lot with new
information on Orissa. They have an excellent web site
(Spaceguard India), which is the result of an
impressive global team effort. Also, there are a
number of terrific groups studying the Vitimsky site,
in Siberia. Hopefully, we will be able to get a lot of
interesting information to the CCNet and there should
be a major input, at the Planetary Defense Conference,
next year.  We are also hoping that our media and
society friends (Space.Com, Planetary Society, etc.)
and the NASA NEO sites will feature these important
events, soon.

The Aten Cluster is just one possible explanation for
these matching events, we invite other theories and
would like to add them to our study list.  

Cheers

Andy Smith
International Planetary Protection Alliance
astrosafe22000@yahoo.com


-----------
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please contact the moderator Benny Peiser <b.j.peiser@livjm.ac.uk>.
Information circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the
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CCCMENU CCC for 2003

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