PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 107/2001 - 15 October 2001
================================


"On the one hand, the results now published in Science fit the
"Giant Impact" theory very well. On the other, the virtually
identical composition of oxygen isotopes are a strong indication that
proto-earth and Theia were formed from the same mixture of components
and that they probably orbited the sun at very similar distances --
like twin planets. Another explanation could be that the moon and
the earth (as it is today) both received the same proportion of
material from proto-earth and Theia. Computer simulations of the "Giant
Impact", however, refute this hypothesis. They show that the moon must
have been formed for the main part out of Theia's silicon-rich outer
portions. In line with what is known today about the formation of
planets in the solar system, the collision of two bodies with similar
orbits is not an unusual occurrence. Planets are formed in three stages.
In the last stage, they can only grow by colliding with other planets."
--Institut für Isotopengeologie und Mineralische
Rohstoffe, 11 October 2001


"For me, as a Czech astronomer, it is a special astronomical
opportunity to say that we are against such terrorist attacks, to
express my deep sympathy to all people who have been hit directly
or indirectly by this barbarism, and that it is necessary to eliminate
terrorism from the world."
--Jana Ticha, Klet Observatory, Czech Republic, 12
October 2001


(1) WORLDS IN COLLISON: MOON AND EARTH FORMED OUT OF IDENTICAL MATERIAL
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(2) LUNAR SOIL YIELDS EVIDENCE ABOUT SUN'S DYNAMIC WORKINGS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(3) THE FUZZY FACE OF CERES
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(4) METEOROID AND ORBITAL DEBRIS IMPACT ANALYSIS OF RETURNED ISS
HARDWARE
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(5) COSMIC TRIBUTE TO TERROR VICTIMS
    From the BBC News Online, 12 October 2001

(6) NASA ADMINISTRATOR LAUNCHES "FLAGS FOR HEROES AND FAMILIES" CAMPAIGN
    From NASA News <NASANews@hq.nasa.gov>

(7) THE SPREAD OF DREAD
    Christian Science Monitor, 15 October 2001

(8) LEONID LINKS
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(9) BALONEY DETECTION
     Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

=============
(1) WORLDS IN COLLISON: MOON AND EARTH FORMED OUT OF IDENTICAL MATERIAL

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

Institut für Isotopengeologie und Mineralische Rohstoffe
(Institute for Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources)
Zürich, Switzerland

Contact:
Prof. Alex Halliday
Tel. +41 (0)1-632 75 25
Fax +41 (0)1-632 11 79
E-Mail halliday@erdw.ethz.ch

Dr. Uwe Wiechert
Tel. +41 (0)1-632 05 98
Fax +41 (0)1-632 11 79
E-Mail wiechert@erdw.ethz.ch

Embargoed: Thursday, 11th October 2001, 8 pm, CET

ETH Researchers Make Unexpected Discovery on the Genesis of the Moon

Moon and Earth Formed out of Identical Material

According to the "Giant Impact" theory the moon was formed by a
collision between a proto-earth and a smaller planet. In the October 12
issue of Science, ETH researchers present results showing that the
composition of the oxygen isotopes of the moon and the earth are
identical. This is a
strong indication that the proto-earth and the planet with which it
collided were formed from an identical mixture of components and that
they orbited the sun at similar distances.

The research group from the ETH Zurich have presented results of their
analysis of 31 samples of various types of lunar rocks, which were
brought back from the Apollo missions 11, 12, 15, 16 and 17. Isotopes
are atoms of the same element but with different mass because of
differing numbers of neutrons. The oxygen isotopes O16, O17 and O18 in
the samples were measured using laser fluorination. This technique was
developed over the past decade and is ten times more precise than
previous methods. The oxygen isotope composition of lunar rocks had been
measured long before but, encouraged by the availability of the new
method, the ETH researchers decided to carry out new measurements. They
were astounded by their results. Uwe Wiechert, senior assistant at the
ETH Zurich and first-named author of the Science paper, explains: "We
wanted to investigate how homogeneous the moon is and whether the
samples contained parts of the proto-earth and the planet with which it
collided. We already knew that the earth and the moon have
a very similar isotopic composition. We never expected, however, that
they would turn out to be identical." The composition of the oxygen
isotopes can be used to determine the origin of the rocks within the
solar system because the oxygen isotope compositions are not uniformly
distributed. If two rocks have identical oxygen isotopic composition
then the probability is great that they were formed from the same
"parent planet" or formed from the same average mixture of solar system
debris. The characteristic composition of meteorites from Mars, for
example, is different from that of the earth and the moon, or from any
other bodies in the solar system. If two big bodies, such as the earth
and the moon, have an identical oxygen isotope composition, they formed
from an identical mixture of components and were formed at very similar
distances to the sun.

Gigantic impact of a planet the size of Mars

The "Giant Impact" theory has been known and accepted by scientists for
more than a decade because it provides an explanation for the low
density of the moon and the angular momentum of the earth-moon system.
The theory states that, about 50 million years after the birth of the
solar system, a planet of the size of Mars -- called Theia after the
mother of the Greek moon goddess, Selene -- collided with the
proto-earth. At this time the earth was in the latter stages of its
formation and had about 90% of the mass it has today. Due to the
enormous mass involved the collision must have been very energetic. Most
of the mass of the earth probably melted and major portions may have
evaporated. The debris from the collision formed a ring around the
earth, out of which the moon was formed. Subsequently, the moon moved
further away from the earth and slowed down the rotation of the earth.
These processes are still on-going.

On the one hand, the results now published in Science fit the "Giant
Impact" theory very well. On the other, the virtually identical
composition of oxygen isotopes are a strong indication that proto-earth
and Theia were formed from the same mixture of components and that they
probably orbited the sun at very similar distances -- like twin planets.
Another explanation could be that the moon and the earth (as it is
today) both received the same proportion of material from proto-earth
and Theia. Computer simulations of the "Giant Impact", however, refute
this hypothesis. They show that the moon must have been formed for the
main part out of Theia's silicon-rich outer portions. In line with what
is known today about the formation of planets in the solar system, the
collision of two bodies with similar orbits is not an unusual
occurrence. Planets are formed in three stages. In the last stage, they
can only grow by colliding with other planets.

Next question: Where does the earth's water come from?

If the moon and the earth are composed of the same material, then the
question arises as to why these two celestial bodies are so different
today. Earth, for example, is covered for the main part with water,
while practically no water is found on the moon -- estimates suggest
that the
entire water content of the moon is about a third of the volume of Lake
Zurich. A research team at the ETH is looking into the question of the
origin of water on earth. There are a number of theories. For example,
one hypothesis is that the water came from a body from the asteroid
belt. Others have proposed that comets delivered water to the Earth. Uwe
Wiechert says: "There are a number of theories on the origin of water.
It would be exciting to examine the water recently found on the moon and
compare it with earth's water. At present, we presume that the water
found on the moon was formed by solar winds, but perhaps here too, we
will find the unexpected."

Notes for Editors

For more information about the topic please check our web site
http://www.cc.ethz.ch/medieninfo (available not before 11th October, 9
pm CET)

IMAGE CAPTION:
[ http://www.cc.ethz.ch/medieninfo/2001/img/62-Earth-Moon.jpg (568KB)]
The moon and the earth seen from outer space: research done at the ETH
Zurich shows that the difference between the two celestial bodies cannot
be a result of the raw material they were formed out of. The material
was identical. (Figure: NASA)

=============
(2) APOLLO SAMPLES REVEAL MOON'S ORIGIN

>From BBC News Online, 10 October 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1593000/1593504.stm

By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse

Measurements of lunar soil have cast new light on the origin of the
Moon, and on processes taking place in the Sun's atmosphere.

Analysis of lunar samples returned by the Apollo astronauts confirms
previous indications that the ratios of the different types, or
isotopes, of oxygen in the Moon's soil are similar to those of Earth. It
is a finding that is consistent with the giant impact model for the
Moon's formation.

A second examination has measured the amount of beryllium-10 blasted on
to the Moon by the solar wind, the stream of particles given off by the
Sun.

Its presence in lunar soil suggests that the isotope was ejected
directly from the Sun's atmosphere and had never been in the convective
zones located deeper inside the star, as some have suggested.

Similar composition

The giant Impact model is the most widely accepted theory for the origin
of the Moon. It proposes that the satellite formed from debris thrown
into space following a collision between an early-stage Earth and a
Mars-sized object.

Thought to be a piece of the Earth
 
This would have happened when the Solar System was still very young.
Recent computer simulations of the impact suggest that the Moon would
have been formed mostly from material from the impactor.

If this was the case, then scientists are puzzled as to why the ratios
of isotopes of oxygen for Earth and Moon rocks are almost identical.

The best way to explain this, according to a team led by Ernst Wiechert
of ETH Zentrium, Zurich, Switzerland, is that the impactor was almost
identical in composition to the proto-Earth, having formed a similar
distance from the Sun as our own planet.

Cosmic rays

Another analysis of lunar soil, also published in the journal Science,
looks at the amount of the isotope Beryllium-10.

Beryllium-10 can be produced near the Sun's surface, where highly
energetic protons bombard the nuclei of other elements like carbon and
oxygen. It can also be delivered to the Moon by galactic cosmic rays.

A detailed analysis by Kunihiko Nishiizumi of the University of
California, US, suggests that there is more beryllium-10 in lunar soil
than would be expected for cosmic ray delivery alone.

One conclusion must be, therefore, that much of the isotope has come
from the Sun's atmosphere.

Copyright 2001, BBC

=================
(3) LUNAR SOIL YIELDS EVIDENCE ABOUT SUN'S DYNAMIC WORKINGS

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

News Service
Purdue University

Writer:
Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Sources:
Marc Caffee, (765) 494-5381, mcaffee@physics.purdue.edu
Kuni Nishiizumi, (510) 643-9361, kuni@ssl.berkeley.edu

Purdue News Service:
(765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

October 11, 2001

Lunar soil yields evidence about sun's dynamic workings

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Soil collected on the moon by Purdue University
alumnus Eugene Cernan nearly 30 years ago has helped researchers at his
alma mater and the University of California uncover new details about
the workings of the sun.

Physicists at UC Berkeley and Purdue analyzed lunar soil samples for the
presence of an element deposited on the moon's surface by the solar
winds, a stream of particles constantly being ejected from the sun. The
analysis revealed strong evidence that materials produced in the sun's
atmosphere do not circulate farther into the interior of the sun before
they are ejected, as some scientists have suggested. Instead, the
materials are created in the atmosphere and then ejected directly
outward, spreading throughout the solar system in the solar wind.

The findings will be reported in the journal Science on Friday (10/12),
in a paper written by Kuni Nishiizumi, a researcher at UC Berkeley's
Space Sciences Laboratory, and Marc Caffee, an associate professor of
physics at Purdue.

The lunar soil was scooped up by Apollo 17 astronauts Cernan and
Harrison Schmitt, who landed on the moon in 1972. They collected the
largest lunar sample ever brought back to Earth -- about 249 pounds of
dirt now stored at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"The astronauts did a spectacular job," Caffee said, noting that robots
are still no substitute for humans in space when it comes to completing
complex assignments.

Cernan, who was the commander of Apollo 17, was the last man to walk on
the moon. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical
engineering from Purdue in 1956 and also holds an honorary doctorate
from the university.

Nishiizumi and Caffee analyzed lunar soil for the presence of a
radioactive form of the element beryllium called beryllium-10.
Beryllium-10 is an isotope of beryllium; it contains four protons and
six neutrons in its nucleus, unlike ordinary beryllium, which contains
four protons and five neutrons. This radioactive, unstable form of
beryllium decomposes in 1.6 million years, a period of time called its
half-life. That means any beryllium-10 found in the lunar soil must
have been deposited there long after the moon's creation, and much of it
has come from the solar winds, Caffee said.

Beryllium-10 is produced in the sun's atmospheric layers -- the
chromosphere and corona -- and eventually spewed out, along with
numerous other constituents, in the solar wind.

"The sun is constantly shedding pieces of itself," Caffee said.

The Earth and other planets are shielded from the solar winds by their
atmospheric envelopes and magnetic fields that surround some planetary
bodies.

"The moon has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, so the solar wind is
not kept in any way, shape or form from hitting the surface of the
moon," he said.

The researchers extracted beryllium-10 from the lunar soil by treating
the soil with nitric and hydrofluoric acids. Then, the precise quantity
of beryllium-10 contained in the soil was determined by using a piece of
equipment called an accelerator mass spectrometer.

The findings provided strong evidence that the beryllium, and therefore
other constituents produced in the sun's atmosphere, are ejected shortly
after they are produced in the atmosphere. Some researchers have
suggested that materials produced in the sun's atmosphere are
pulled into the sun's interior, where they circulate in convection
currents for millions of years before making their way back to the sun's
outer atmospheric layers.

The new findings contradict that theory, Caffee said.

Such findings will not only reveal details about the sun's workings, but
they also will provide new insights into how the sun and the solar
system were formed 4.5 billion years ago.

"Surprisingly, there are a lot of things we still don't know about the
sun," Caffee said.

He and Nishiizumi are working on a new NASA mission called Genesis, a
spacecraft launched this summer that will collect particles from the
solar wind.

The spacecraft is expected to complete its mission within two years and
return to Earth.

ABSTRACT

Beryllium-10 from the Sun
K. Nishiizumi and M.W. Caffee

Beryllium-10 (10Be) in excess of that expected from in situ cosmic ray
spallation reactions is present in lunar surface soil 78481; its
presence was revealed with a sequential leaching technique. This excess
10Be, representing only 0.7 to 1.1 percent of the total 10Be inventory,
is associated with surface layers (<micrometer) of the mineral grains
composing 78481. This excess 10Be and its association with surficial
layers corresponds to (1.9 +/- 0.8) X 10^8 atoms per square centimeter,
requiring a 10Be implantation rate of (2.9 +/- 1.2) X 10^-6 atoms per
square centimeter per second on the surface of the Moon. The most likely
site for the production of this excess 10Be is the Sun's atmosphere. The
10Be is entrained into the solar wind and transported to the lunar
surface.

==============
(4) THE FUZZY FACE OF CERES

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

=====================================================================
         SKY & TELESCOPE'S NEWS BULLETIN - OCTOBER 12, 2001
=====================================================================
For images and Web links for these items, visit http://www.skypub.com
=====================================================================

THE FUZZY FACE OF CERES

When Guiseppe Piazzi discovered Ceres on January 1, 1801, he believed
he'd found the planet hypothesized to orbit between Mars and Jupiter.
Although Ceres is no planet, it turned out to be the largest body in
the asteroid belt. And now, two centuries later, astronomers finally
have a crude idea of what its surface looks like.

Thanks to the optical prowess of the Hubble Space Telescope, a team of
observers led by Joel W. Parker (Southwest Research Institute)
captured several images of Ceres on June 25, 1995, in ultraviolet
light (at which HST affords the best resolution). Previous
ground-based observations had resolved Ceres' disk, but only crudely,
using adaptive optics; by contrast, Hubble's images reveal details as
small as 50 kilometers across. Apparently the side of Ceres recorded
by HST is rather bland, except for one dusky dark marking about 250 km
across. As Parker and his colleagues describe in the forthcoming
January 2002 issue of the Astronomical Journal, it's unclear whether
this spot is a crater, a dark area, or something else. But they
believe it's a real feature, enough so to propose that it be named
Piazzi.

The 5-hour HST run was not long enough to follow Ceres through an
entire 9.1-hour rotation, but the pictorial coverage suggests a mean
diameter of 950 ± 8 km. From that, as well as previous mass estimates,
the team determined that Ceres' mean density is roughly 2.6 g/cm^3 --
a reasonable match to the rocky, carbon-enriched composition suggested
by the asteroid's spectrum. Ceres occupies a roughly circular orbit
that averages 2.8 astronomical units (414 million km) from the Sun.


[snip]

=====================================================================
Copyright 2001 Sky Publishing Corporation. S&T's Weekly News Bulletin
and Sky at a Glance stargazing calendar are provided as a service to
the astronomical community by the editors of SKY & TELESCOPE magazine.
Widespread electronic distribution is encouraged as long as these
paragraphs are included. But the text of the bulletin and calendar may
not be published in any other form without permission from Sky
Publishing (contact permissions@skypub.com or phone 617-864-7360).
Updates of astronomical news, including active links to related
Internet resources, are available via SKY & TELESCOPE's site on the
World Wide Web at http://www.skypub.com/.

===========
(5) METEOROID AND ORBITAL DEBRIS IMPACT ANALYSIS OF RETURNED ISS
HARDWARE

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

[From July 2001 issue of ORBITAL DEBRIS QUARTERLY NEWS, NASA JSC]

Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Impact Analysis of Returned International
Space Station Hardware
By J. Hyde, E. Christiansen, & R. Bernhard

Three hypervelocity impacts were observed on the cylinder region of the
MPLM 1 after STS-102/5A.1. The impacts caused only superficial damage to
the outer bumper. The most significant of the three was a 1.44 mm
diameter hole in the 0.8 mm thick aluminum bumper of the Meteoroid
Debris Protection System (MDPS). It was determined from Scanning Electron
Microscope (SEM) analysis that the hole was caused by orbital debris, a
fragment of spacecraft paint approximately 0.5 mm in diameter. The other
two impacts produced craters in the MDPS bumper. There was no observed
damage to the MLI thermal blanket underneath or to the MPLM1 pressure
wall.

A BUMPER code analysis was performed with post-flight attitude data to
determine the regions of the MPLM1 cylinder that were most likely to be
hit by meteoroid and orbital debris particles in the general size ranges
of the observed impacts. All three impacts were near the region with the
highest risk. The analysis indicated that the bumper had a 1 in 5 chance
of being perforated during the 6 days of exposure and that orbital
debris was most likely to cause the penetration.

Five hypervelocity impacts were detected on the aluminum housing of an
EVA Safety Tether returned on STS-97/4A after nearly two years on orbit.
The largest impact, a 0.83 mm diameter by 0.45 mm deep crater, was
caused by an estimated 0.3 mm diameter orbital debris particle. SEM
analysis of crater residue revealed an abundance of silicon, indicating
that the impactor may have originated from a glass window or a solar
panel. The craters did not effect the on-orbit operation of the tether
or prevent its reuse.

Probability calculations using post-flight data indicated a 1 in 114
chance that the tether housing would be impacted by a 0.3 mm diameter
projectile during the two-year exposure period, an impact risk of less
than 1%.

IMAGE CAPTIONS:

[Figure 1:
http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/v6i3/Meteoroid-Fig1.jpg
]
MPLM bumper perforation risk plot, with impact locations noted.

[Figure 2:
http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/v6i3/Meteoroid-Fig2.jpg
]
Inspection of 21.2 cm (8.4 inch) long tether housing.

===========
(6) COSMIC TRIBUTE TO TERROR VICTIMS

>From the BBC News Online, 12 October 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1596000/1596146.stm

By BBC News Online science editor Dr David Whitehouse

Astronomers have named three asteroids in honour of the victims of the
11 September hijack attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and
damaged the Pentagon.

The names given are Compassion, Solidarity and Magnanimity.

They were chosen "to represent some of the most basic and universal
human values," say officials.

According to astronomers, it is a way for the international scientific
community to mark their sorrow and place a symbol of the best aspects of
humanity in the sky.

'Abhorring the tragedy'

The decision to name the asteroids was made unanimously by the 13
members of the International Astronomical Union's Committee (IAU) for
Small Body Nomenclature.

"The sentiments reflect the feelings of all the members of the
committee, representing many different countries," Brian Marsden, the
body's secretary, told BBC News Online.

The three asteroids were discovered by observatories on different
continents and "are intended as a positive statement abhorring the
tragedy that occurred on a fourth," according to the IAU.

Compassion, also known as asteroid 1980 DN, was discovered in 1980, at
the Klet Observatory in the Czech Republic.

'Deep sympathy'

Its director, Jana Ticha, told us: "This minor planet, discovered at
Klet, belongs to the main-belt asteroids, orbits the Sun once per 5.61
years and has a diameter about 7-15 kilometres (4.3-9.3 miles)."

It is about the size of Manhattan Island.

She added: "For me, as a Czech astronomer, it is a special astronomical
opportunity to say that we are against such terrorist attacks, to
express my deep sympathy to all people who have been hit directly or
indirectly by this barbarism, and that it is necessary to eliminate
terrorism from the world."

Solidarity, also known as asteroid 1980 PV1, was discovered in 1980 at
the European Southern Observatory in South America.

'Justice for all'

Magnanimity, also known as asteroid 1980 TE7, was discovered by the
Purple Mountain Observatory in 1980. The IAU's citation said: "To honor
the magnanimity of people around the world in dealing with terrorist
attacks like those on New York and Washington, in the hope that
terrorism will be countered with justice for all, not with revenge."

Marsden said the IAU took care to find three asteroids that had been
discovered and numbered consecutively and that were found by researchers
outside the United States.

It was IAU committee member Richard West, of the European Southern
Observatory, who proposed the idea of naming the asteroids just three
days after the attacks. West also put forward the names - on which the
committee has now agreed.

There are 29,074 known asteroids, of which only 8,830 have been named.
On average, a hundred a month are given names.

Copyright 2001, BBC

============
(7) NASA ADMINISTRATOR LAUNCHES "FLAGS FOR HEROES AND FAMILIES" CAMPAIGN

>From NASA News <NASANews@hq.nasa.gov>

Bob Jacobs/Kirsten Larson
Headquarters, Washington                Oct. 11, 2001
(Phone: 202/358-1600/0243)

RELEASE: 01-195

NASA ADMINISTRATOR LAUNCHES "FLAGS FOR HEROES AND FAMILIES" CAMPAIGN

In a unique extension of a tradition that dates back to the beginning of
human space flight, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin today announced
that the next mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour will honor the victims
of last month's terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and
Pennsylvania.

In announcing the "Flags for Heroes and Families" campaign,
Administrator Goldin said thousands of American flags will be carried
into space by Endeavor and its seven member crew and
will be distributed to the victims' families and survivors of the
September attacks.

"The 'Flags for Heroes and Families' campaign is a way for us to honor
and show our support for the thousands of brave men and women who have
selflessly contributed to the relief and recovery efforts," said
Administrator Goldin. "The American flags are a patriotic symbol of our
strength and solidarity, and our Nation's resolve to prevail."

As part of this NASA-sponsored effort, nearly 6,000 American flags will
be carried into orbit aboard Endeavour. The mission, known as STS-108,
is currently scheduled for lift-off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in
Florida Nov. 29.

"NASA wanted to come up with an appropriate tribute to the people who
lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11," added
Administrator Goldin. "America's space program has
a long history of carrying items into space to commemorate historic
events, acts of courage and dramatic achievements. 'Flags for Heroes and
Families' is a natural extension of this ongoing outreach project."

The legacy of flying American flags to space started in 1961 with the
flight of the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard. Students from
Cocoa Beach Elementary School in Florida purchased a flag from a local
department store, which was later was rolled up and placed between
cables behind Shepard's head inside his Freedom 7 Mercury spacecraft.

The flags carried into orbit as part of the "Flags for Heroes and
Families" effort will be returned to Earth at the end of STS-108,
mounted on specially designed memorial certificates,
and presented to the survivors and families of the victims in New York
and the Pentagon, and to the families of the heroes killed aboard United
Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday afternoon, Administrator Goldin presented the city of New York
and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with an American flag carried into space on a
previous space shuttle flight. The Administrator announced plans to present
new flags to each New York fire house and police precinct that has played
a role in the rescue and recovery efforts.

"We feel 'Flags for Heroes and Families' is a fitting tribute from our
Nation's space program to honor those affected by this American
tragedy," concluded Administrator Goldin. "The entire NASA family has
come together with a historic display of unity on a project designed to
comfort of all who have been touched by these horrific events."

STS-108 will be the 12th space shuttle mission to visit the
International Space Station. Endeavour will deliver the Expedition Four
Crew -- Commander Yuri Onufrienko of
Rosaviakosmos and American Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch --
and return the Expedition Three crew home to Earth. Dominic Gorie will
command STS-108, and Mark Kelly will serve
as pilot. Astronauts Linda Godwin and Daniel Tani are mission
specialists for this flight.

Additional information about STS-108 and the International Space Station
is available on the Internet at:
             http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

============
(8) THE SPREAD OF DREAD

>From Christian Science Monitor, 15 October 2001
http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/1015/p10s1-comv.html

If a war on terrorism is really an attempt to stop people from spreading
fear across the land, what is the role of the news media? 
 
Journalists see a need to warn people about threats and dangers. But at
what point does such information do more than just alert people and
actually alarm them - perhaps even harm them?

That's a fine line too easily crossed, one that needs to be drawn ever
so carefully. A whole new way of thinking may be required of the media
during this conflict.

In recent conventional wars, the US knew where the enemy was - not on
American soil. The first rule for journalists was not to jeopardize US
soldiers by releasing war secrets. But with terrorists hiding among the
population with the sole purpose to evoke fear, journalists are much
more involved - like it or not. They can either prepare people, or panic
them.

Even the media itself can be a target of terrorism, specifically a
bioterror attack with anthrax, as happened last week to NBC News and
American Media Inc.

And TV news shows are complying with a Bush administration request not
to air video statements from Al Qaeda terrorists that promise new
attacks on Americans. Such measures not only help prevent such videos
from being used to send signals to hidden terrorists, but also show
journalists can take responsibility for the effects of information on
people's emotions.

Much of the media is also offering solutions to potential threats as
well as just reporting them.

Reason and accurate information are the best antidote to fear and to
regaining a sense of security. Both government leaders and journalists
need to be on high alert against doing the terrorists' dirty work for
them.

Copyright 2001, Christian Science Monitor


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


(9) LEONID LINKS

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

Dear Benny

I have created a new web page to cover the forthcoming Leonids meteor
shower:
http://www4.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/leonids.html

Suggestions for extra links and news items are welcome. Australians
should be ideally located for viewing the predicted peak of the shower
before dawn on 19th November. I have to take a flight from Sydney to
Melbourne later that day to attend a conference. Although (I understand)
there is virtually no direct risk to aircraft there is an increased risk
of damage to GPS and communications satellites. I am therefore leaving
my departure at late as possible to let things settle down!

regards
Michael Paine

==============
(10) BALONEY DETECTION

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

Dear Benny

The November issue of Scientific American has an excellent article on
baloney detection:
http://www.sciam.com/2001/1101issue/1101skeptic.html

See also Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit:
http://www4.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/baloney.html

regards
Michael Paine

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