PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 128/2002 - 8 November 2002
--------------------------------

"Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids,
meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge
facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We recommend
that space objectives be immediately reprioritized to start us moving
quickly towards an infrastructure that will support a multiple option
defense capability. While lasers should be the primary approach
initially, all mitigation options depend on robust early warning,
detection, and tracking resources to find objects sufficiently prior
to Earth orbit passage in time to allow mitigation."
--Jonathan Campbell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, 5
November 2002


(1) IMPACT IMPERATIVE: LASER ABLATION MAY SOON BECOME AN EFFECTIVE TOOL OF
PLANETARY PROTECTION
    Space.com, 5 November 2002

(2) WHY MARS ROCK HITS EARTH EVERY MONTH
    Space.com, 7 November 2002

(3) UH-HUH: "TOUGH EARTH BUG MAY BE FROM MARS"
    New Scientist, 25 September 2002

(4) NASA CHALLENGES MOON HOAX CLAIMS: CCNET MEMBER JAMES OBERG COMMISSIONED
TO CHALLENGE CONSPIRACY THEORIES
    BBC News Online, 7 November 2002

(5) DARE FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(6) IAU NEO WORKING GROUP REPORT
    Andy Smith <astrosafe22000@yahoo.com>

(7) COMPOSITION OF THE SOLAR INTERIOR
    Oliver K. Manuel <oess@umr.edu>

(8) AND FINALLY: GOOD GRIEF! CHEERFUL CHILDREN DIE YOUNGER THAN GLOOMY
CLASSMATES, SAYS UK STUDY
    British Medical Journal, 5 October 2002

========
(1) IMPACT IMPERATIVE: LASER ABLATION MAY SOON BECOME AN EFFECTIVE TOOL OF
PLANETARY PROTECTION

>From Space.com, 5 November 2002
http://space.com/businesstechnology/technology/beamed_propulsion_021105.html

By Leonard David

A micro-payload riding a shaft of light streaks for the Moon or Mars. Huge
sails are nudged outward on interstellar trajectories. A double-crosser of
an asteroid is pulsed out of harms way, saving the Earth from a messy
impact.

All benefits from on-the-spot power beaming, 21st century style. Better yet,
no need tapping your fingers waiting around for this technological
tour-de-force.

Next year, a space-deployed solar sail is to be pushed via microwave beam
broadcast from Earth - a novel experiment to test the feasibility of
beam-boosted sails. 
 
For the first time in history, experts in the field of point-to-point power
beaming from around the world have gathered at the First International
Symposium on Beamed-Energy Propulsion, held at the University of Alabama in
Huntsville (UAH).

"Several generations of researchers are under one roof. Nothing has been
like this before. It's a special event," said UAH's Andrew Pakhomov,
co-chair and a key organizer of the meeting. "This is research once the
domain of several enthusiasts. But it has passed that initial stage. This is
a normal technological field involving researchers, engineers, as well as
prototypes and products," he told SPACE.com.

Pakhomov said researchers from nine nations and from various groups across
the United States are reporting on the progress and promise of power
beaming.

Sail beaming experiment

Next year's trial run at power beaming is slated to involve The Planetary
Society's Cosmos 1 solar sail. To be launched by a Russian rocket, the sail
is to settle into a 500-mile (800-kilometer) orbit above the Earth.

Once fully deployed, the Cosmos 1 is then ready to be on the receiving end
of a microwave beam. That microwave energy will be transmitted spaceward via
a large radio dish in Goldstone, California - a powerful antenna that's part
of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network.

Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society and the Cosmos 1
Project Director, told SPACE.com: "If we can do the beamed power experiment
and measure its acceleration on our Cosmos 1 spacecraft, it will be a great
accomplishment for us...on the first solar sail mission to pave the way for
interstellar flight."

While the push received from the Goldstone microwave beam will be tiny
compared to the effect of solar radiation on the sail, the spacecraft's
mission is to test the feasibility of beam-boosted sails, said Greg Benford,
a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. His brother,
James Benford, president of Microwave Sciences, of Lafayette, California, is
keen on the experiment too.

"The significance is that this is the first demonstration of a new
propulsion method, truly 21st century, that can reach speeds far beyond the
rocket," Jim Benford said.

Lightcraft shows the way

The modern history of beamed energy propulsion, tagged BEP for short,
started in 1972, when Arthur Kantrowitz -- founder and CEO of the Avco
Everett Research Laboratory -- first popularized the idea of laser
propulsion to orbit. His research continues today as a professor at Thayer
School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The BEP field has evolved from a simple vision of somehow employing a remote
source to transmit energy to spacecraft in flight, into a demonstrated
propulsion technology.

In one effort, small-sized "Lightcraft" have already been shot high into the
air over White Sands, New Mexico desert. The test devices rode on blasts of
high-intensity laser light. This progress, sponsored by the Air Force
Research Laboratory and NASA, realized ever-increasing flight altitude
records. The successful tests have helped confirm the promise that useful
payloads could be delivered to low-Earth-orbit using laser propulsion.

Pakhomov points out that few advanced propulsion concepts have had
successful flight demonstration. More importantly, the field of laser
propulsion is not limited to just Earth-to-orbit launches, in the same way
as BEP is not limited to laser propulsion. A broad range of new applications
will be opened with the advancement of beamed energy propulsion research.

But there are a few catches.

Work-horse technologies

For one, the time when laser propulsion and other BEP concepts will become
mature, 'work-horse' technologies depends entirely upon expanding the
current level of BEP research and development. Furthermore, there's need to
establish high-power BEP demonstration and test facilities. On a more global
front, uniting research forces worldwide to achieve this goal is vital.

Pakhomov adds, however, that power beaming schemes and hardware needed to
turn ideas into matter-of-fact propulsion are rapidly proliferating.

One only has to look at the vetting of proposals at this week's First
International Symposium on Beamed-Energy Propulsion.

For example, consider a supersonic airbreathing laser propulsion vehicle
advocated by Korean researchers. Then there's X-ray driven micro-ships by a
Japanese team. Another suggestion by a Russian specialist is correcting
satellite orbits by laser beaming.

Arguably, one of the more bombastic thoughts presented is sidetracking
incoming objects harmful to Earth.

Titled the "Impact Imperative," the idea is to use laser ablation for
deflecting asteroids, meteoroids, and comets from smacking into the Earth.

Intelligent combination

Leader of the proposition is NASA's Jonathan Campbell, a research scientist
in the Advanced Projects Group at the Marshall Space Flight Center's new
National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville. An up-front
disclaimer, Campbell adds, is that the opinions expressed are not
necessarily the official position or policy of NASA.

"Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids,
meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge
facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative," Campbell and
several research associates suggest.

It is clear that big and small objects hitting our planet can do serious
damage.

Can anything be done about this "fundamental existence question" facing our
civilization? The answer is a resounding yes, Campbell believes.

"By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors
coupled with a space infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other
secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids,
and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth," Campbell will report
at the symposium.

Space interceptors

The power beaming idea is straightforward. Just irradiate the surface of an
inbound rock with sufficiently intense laser pulses so that ablation occurs.
This ablation acts as a small rocket incrementally changing the shape of the
rock's orbit around the Sun.

"We recommend that space objectives be immediately reprioritized to start us
moving quickly towards an infrastructure that will support a multiple option
defense capability," Campbell advises. "While lasers should be the primary
approach initially, all mitigation options depend on robust early warning,
detection, and tracking resources to find objects sufficiently prior to
Earth orbit passage in time to allow mitigation."

Campbell and his fellow team members envision laser and sensor stations
placed in low and high orbits around Earth, even at lunar and libration
point distances. Space interceptors would tote both laser and nuclear
ablators for close range work.

"Response options must be developed to deal with the consequences of an
impact should we move too slowly," Campbell concludes.

Ripe for serious development

>From newly fabricated ultra-tiny spacecraft thrusters to theorizing about
shoving asteroids around - power beaming research is on full-throttle.

Why now and why beamed energy?

"Because 'concentrated' energy is hard to come by in space," said Jordin
Kare of Kare Technical Consulting in San Ramon, California.

Kare, a noted researcher in power beaming, said this type of propulsion
yields several advantages.

"Chemical fuels don't provide enough oomph for lots of things we want to do,
like make single stage launchers or make fast trips to Mars. Sunlight
provides plenty of energy but it's expensive to collect and use, in both
dollars and mass. The only other choices we have for supplying energy in
space are nuclear power and beamed energy. And even if you like nuclear
power, there are situations -- like launching from the ground -- where
beamed energy is the only way to go," Kare told SPACE.com.

Kare advises keeping an eye on the power beaming field.

"Because it's ripe for serious development," Kare said. "We're a long way
from building a laser launcher -- though maybe not as long a way as many
people think -- but we could start building space power and propulsion
systems any time."

"There's lots of talk about making space flight as easy and reliable as air
travel. But we can't do it with chemical rockets -- the margins are just too
small. With beamed energy, you're not limited by what Nature lets you get
out of chemical bonds," Kare added.

At this week's symposium, Kare is presenting his own work.

"With technology we largely know how to build today, we could make a laser
orbital maneuvering system that would let us hop between orbits and go to
the Moon with ease, and even send off missions to Mars," Kare said.

"Now if we could just get the Martians to build their own laser, we'd be all
set."

Copyright 2002, Space.com

============
(2) WHY MARS ROCK HITS EARTH EVERY MONTH

>From Space.com, 7 November 2002
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/mars_knocks_021107.html

By Robert Roy Britt

Every month, on average, a rock from Mars lands on Earth. Most are never
found, but those that have been picked up suggest that the theory for how
they get here - having been booted from the Red Planet by very large
asteroid impacts - is not fully accurate.

Now a new computer simulation appears to solve the puzzle by showing that
relatively small collisions can do the trick. 
 
Scientists know that space rocks ranging from the size of a car to that of a
city have hit Mars many times throughout history. In some of these
collisions, chunks of Mars are flung into space and never return. Some go on
journeys that can last millions of years before being captured by our own
planet's gravity.

Meteorite hunters have found about 26 rocks on Earth that have been
identified as having come from Mars (some of these broke apart upon entering
the atmosphere, so the 26 rocks were found as about 40 separate pieces).

Scientists had thought it took a serious wallop to instigate these
interplanetary exchanges. Yet the new research finds that craters as small
as 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) wide on Mars could have been the starting points
for rocky odysseys.

This minimum crater diameter is at least four times smaller than previous
estimates, the scientists write in an account published today in the online
version of the journal Science.

The study was done by James Head and Jay Melosh of the University of
Arizona, with Boris Ivanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The scientists said terrain covered by weaker material, which might be
created in previous impacts, requires larger events to scoot stuff all the
way to Earth. That means, they say, that Martian meteorites found on Earth
should tend be from a young Mars, a projection that fits with the dating
done on actual rocks that have been collected.

In an interview with SPACE.com, Head, who also works for Raytheon Missile
Systems, explained what the new simulation reveals.

An asteroid one-and-a-half times the size of a football field slams into
Mars at 22,370 mph (10 kilometers per second). The energy of the impact is
equal to about 60 megatons of TNT, comparable to the largest nuclear devices
ever tested.

A strong shock wave begins to form. The leading edge of the shock wave
reflects off the surface from below and interferes destructively with the
rest of the incoming shock wave, canceling out the high pressure near the
surface. At the surface, the pressure is zero, according to the simulation.
Just below the surface, however, the pressure is great.

"The pressure difference accelerates the material to high speed," Head said.
"About 10 million fragments averaging 5 centimeters across [2 inches] are
accelerated to speeds in excess of 5 kilometers per second [11,180 miles per
hour]."

That is the escape velocity of Mars, the speed needed to leave the planet
without going into orbit around it.

"According to the celestial mechanics people, about 7.5 percent of this
material is destined to land on the Earth," Head says. "More than half of
that lands in the first 10 million years after the impact."

Impacts of this size and larger occur every 200,000 years or so on Mars.
About once every 2 million years, an impact of this size occurs on terrain
suited to the scenario Head and his colleagues lay out. This means fragments
from several impacts are in transit all the time.

"This works out to about one Martian meteorite landing on Earth each month,"
Head said.

These are not the only space rocks that hit Earth, Head points out. While
only a few dozen Mars meteorites have been discovered, the total number of
space rocks collected on our planet is about 20,000.

Copyright 2002, Space.com

=========
(3) UH-HUH: "TOUGH EARTH BUG MAY BE FROM MARS"
 
>From New Scientist, 25 September 2002
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992844
 
A hardy microbe that can withstand huge doses of radiation could have
evolved this ability on Mars.

That is the conclusion of Russian scientists who say it would take far
longer than life has existed here for the bug to evolve that ability in
Earth's clement conditions. They suggest the harsher environment of Mars
makes it a more likely birthplace.

The hardy bugs could have travelled to Earth on pieces of rock that were
blasted into space by an impacting asteroid and fell to Earth as meteorites.

Deinococcus radiodurans is renowned for its resistance to radiation - it can
survive several thousand times the lethal dose for humans. To investigate
how the trait might have evolved, Anatoli Pavlov and his colleagues from the
Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in St Petersburg tried to induce it in E.
coli.

99.9 per cent deadly

They blasted the bugs with enough gamma rays to kill 99.9 per cent of them,
let the survivors recover, and then repeated the process. During the first
cycle just a hundredth of the lethal human dose was enough to wipe out 99.9
per cent of the bacteria, but after 44 cycles it took 50 times that initial
level to kill the same proportion.

However, the researchers calculate that it would take thousands of such
cycles before the E. coli were as hardy as Deinococcus. And on Earth it
would take between a million and a hundred million years to accumulate each
dose, during which time the bugs would have to be dormant.

Since life originated on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago, Pavlov does not
believe that there has been enough time for this resistance to evolve.

Dormant bugs
 
On Mars, however, the researchers calculate that dormant bugs could receive
the necessary dose in just a few hundred thousand years, because radiation
levels there are much higher.

What is more, they point out that the Red Planet wobbles on its rotation
axis, producing a regular cycle of climate swings that would drive bacteria
into dormancy for long enough to accumulate such doses, before higher
temperatures enabled the survivors to recover and multiply. Pavlov reported
the results last week at the Second European Workshop on Astrobiology in
Graz, Austria.

David Morrison of NASA's Astrobiology Institute is sceptical that
Deinococcus came from Mars, pointing out that its genome looks similar to
those of other Earthly bacteria. But he admits that there's still no obvious
explanation for the bug's resistance to radiation.

"It is certainly a mystery how this trait has developed and why it
persists," he says.
 
Stuart Clark

Copyright 2002, New Scientist

===========
(4) NASA CHALLENGES MOON HOAX CLAIMS: CCNET MEMBER JAMES OBERG COMMISSIONED
TO CHALLENGE CONSPIRACY THEORIES
 
>From BBC News Online, 7 November 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2410431.stm
 
By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor 
 
For years there have been rumours that the Apollo lunar landings were faked,
staged on a movie set to convince the world that the US had beaten the
Soviets to the Moon.

And, despite evidence to the contrary, the belief that the "one small step
for man" was a sham continues to spread.

Now, having tried to stay above the rumours, the US space agency (Nasa) has
finally got fed up with the conspiracy theorists and asked James Oberg, a
leading aerospace writer, to produce a book that it hopes will settle the
issue.

But will it work, or will it just add a certain credibility to the hoax
theory?

Flags that ripple on the airless Moon, discrepancies in the part numbers of
lunar lander components, shadows that point in the wrong direction, the lack
of stars seen in the sky - these are all "facts" that have fuelled the
conspiracy theory.

It is claimed that the six Apollo landings took place in a hangar on a
secret military base.

Over the years, every one of the lines of evidence has been discredited but
the rumours refuse to go away.

In September, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, punched a man
in the face after he had confronted the former astronaut at a Beverly Hills
hotel.

Bart Sibrel - who has made a film questioning the Apollo Moon missions - had
demanded that Mr Aldrin, 72, swear on the Bible that he had in fact walked
on the Moon.

Prosecutors declined to file assault charges against Mr Aldrin.

Truth out there

Tackling the conspiracy theory head-on in an official book was the idea of
Nasa's former chief historian Roger Launius.

He says that hardcore conspiracy theorists are not the book's main audience,
as they will never be convinced of the truth.

Instead, it will be aimed at the general public and especially teachers,
giving them the science to answer questions in class.

Doubters will no doubt dismiss the new book as just another attempt by the
establishment to cover up the truth.

Nasa says the rippling flag is easily explained by the fact that the
astronauts twisted it as they planted it in the soil.

The stars are not visible in the lunar sky because of the bright landscape
and the light from the Earth drowning them out.

In a few years a definite answer could be possible.

A private company, Transorbital, will place a private high-resolution
satellite into orbit around the Moon. It should have the power to see the
Apollo hardware left on the surface.

Copyright 2002, BBC

MODERATOR'S NOTE: CCNet members who are keen to support NASA's attempt in
tackling the social-psychological problems of conspiracy theories and their
manichaic appeal should contact James Oberg at <joberg@houston.rr.com>.

For right-wing conspiracy theories see:
http://www.csicop.org/si/9609/conspiracy.html

For left-wing conspiracy theories about 9/11 see:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1561199.stm

For a DIY guide to build your own conspiracy theory see:
http://dir.salon.com/people/feature/2000/10/02/king_lennon/index.html

==========
(5) DARE FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

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

Global Aerospace Corporation

Contact: Dr. Alexey Pankine
(626) 345-1200, alexey.a.pankine@gaerospace.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2002

DARE for Planetary Exploration

ALTADENA, CA -- Balloons outfitted with innovative steering devices and
robot probes could be the future of planetary exploration. Dr. Alexey
Pankine, a fellow at the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC),
presented an analysis of balloon applications for planetary science at the
World Space Congress in Houston, Texas last month. His study, entitled
Directed Aerial Robot Explorers or DARE, is funded by NIAC.

At the center of the DARE concept are balloons that can float in planetary
atmospheres for many days. Balloons have long been recognized as low-cost
observational platforms and are routinely used in observations of the
Earth's atmosphere. In 1984, two balloons were successfully deployed in the
atmosphere of Venus for a short mission. However, what has restrained the
wider use of balloons in planetary exploration was the inability to control
their paths in strong atmospheric winds. Attaching an engine to a balloon
would convert it into an airship and make it too heavy, too power dependent
and too expensive to send to another planet or high into the atmosphere.

Faced with this problem, Global Aerospace Corporation has proposed to use an
innovative device called the StratoSail® that allows the user to control the
path of a planetary balloon. The device is essentially a wing that hangs on
a long tether (several kilometers) below the balloon. Strong winds and
denser atmosphere at the wing altitude create a sideways lifting force that
pulls the entire system across the winds.

The DARE concept analyzes the use of the StratoSail® device on several
planets in our Solar System that have atmosphere -- Venus, Mars, Jupiter and
Titan (a satellite of Saturn). Dr. Pankine reports that a small, light wing
will pull the balloon with a velocity of about 1 m/s across the winds on
those planets. This may not seem much, but applied constantly (without
consuming any power!) for the duration of a long mission (100 days) it would
allow for pole-to-pole exploration of the atmospheres of Venus and Titan,
and targeted observations of Mars and the vast Great Red Spot of Jupiter.

DARE platforms would carry high-resolution cameras and other instruments to
study surfaces and atmospheres of the planets. Dr. Pankine envisions small
probes being deployed from DARE platforms over a site of interest. These
robot-probes would, for example, analyze atmosphere during their descent on
Venus and Jupiter or crawl around after soft landing on the surfaces of Mars
and Titan.

"The ability to alter the flight path in the atmosphere and to deploy the
probes would vastly expand the capabilities of planetary balloons and make
possible breakthrough observations that are not feasible with any other
platform," says Dr. Pankine. The figure illustrates a DARE platform
operating at Venus.

IMAGE CAPTION:
[ http://www.gaerospace.com/imagesA/photos/dare.jpg (24KB)]
Simulated image of DARE platform at Venus (background image D. P. Anderson,
Southern Methodist University)

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

(6) IAU NEO WORKING GROUP REPORT

>From Andy Smith <astrosafe22000@yahoo.com>

Hello Benny and CCNet,

We appreciate the summaries of important technical meetings that have been
provided to us, for many years, by Dr. David Morrison. They are especially
valuable to those of us who are involved in the global (and largely
volunteer) effort to understand the NEO danger and to prevent impacts, if
possible, or to survive them, if we must.

Many of us are not astronomers. We are specialists from the many other
disciplines essential to preparedness study and we do not participate in the
many important meetings of NEO astronomers, which are held around the globe.

We also appreciate the participation of the many distinguished astronomy
experts who are active in the NEO Working Group of the IAU.

Meeting Concerns 

The report focussed on the search for NEO larger than a kilometer and made
no mention of the fact most (95%+)of the really dangerous threat objects
(100,000+)are smaller than this. It also made no mention of the many very
promising NEO terrestrial and orbiting search programs (now in development)
which are aimed at finding most of these smaller objects
(Pan-STARRS, LSST, GAIA, etc.).

We are concerned about this possible oversight because we feel IAU
recognition of these programs (especially by the NEO specialists) is
important.

Mitigation Activities

It was also disturbing that no mention was made of the important mitigation
related activities, including major missions to asteroids and comets. While
these are not primarily astronomy programs, they bear
directly on the NEO problem and should be monitored and supported by the
NEO/WG.

Torrino Is Not Richter

The summary referred to the Torrino Scale (TS) as the NEO equivalent of the
earthquake Richter Scale (RS). We disagree with this.

The RS is a simple exponential scale for comparing released energy. The TS,
on the other hand, includes the probability of impact and the object size.
These two scales have different applications.

The Asteroid/Comet Emergency (ACE) scale(ACES), which has 10
steps....starting with the nominal Tunguska object (50 meters wide) and
ending (step 10) with Hale-Bopp, is an NEO application of the RS notion. In
the ACES, the object width doubles with each increasing step and both
released energy and the interval between impacts seem to scale quite well.

NEO/WG Interest In Public Information

We feel the information role of the WG is extremely important and we
champion the initiatives taken by Brian Marsden and others, to get important
information to the many NEO experts, in the public sector, and to make
refinements to the data.....as better data is received. About a decade ago,
we entered a new era regarding the NEO danger and there is now a place in
the public mind and media for the reporting of sightings-of-concern and for
the reporting of corrections to those sightings. As a matter of fact, we
feel such serious announcements serve to increase public awareness of the
danger and concern for preparedness planning.

In this regard, we also appreciate the many important Web pages being hosted
by members and advisors of the WG.

MPC Support

We appreciate what the group does to support the very important Minor Planet
Center (MPC) and we urge them to continue to strengthen this vital effort
and related activities, such as the NEODys and NASA's SENTRY data program.
We would like to see more global cooperation, in the handling of NEO data,
and more participation by such important groups as the
Space Shield Foundation. We are very grateful for Spaceguard Foundation
support.

Inactive NEO Search Programs

Finally, we think the group should monitor and assist, where possible, those
programs which seem to be having difficulty continuing operations. As an
international body of NEO astronomy specialists, WG letters of
support and guidance might be helpful to those programs, as they seek
support.

Cheers ... and Bravo to the many great NEO Web Pages,

Andy Smith
International Planetary Protection Alliance (IPPA)

=========
(7) COMPOSITION OF THE SOLAR INTERIOR

>From Oliver K. Manuel <oess@umr.edu>

Dear Benny,

In a paper presented at the SOHO 12/GONG+ meeting in Big Bear Lake, CA last
week evidence was presented that the seven most abundance elements in the
interior of the Sun are the same ones Professor William Harkins reported in
1917 to comprise 99% of the material in ordinary meteorites: iron, oxygen,
nickel, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium.

The abstract is below. The paper is available on request <om@umr.edu> or
online as a pdf document at
<http://web.umr.edu/~om/abstracts2002/soho-gong2002.pdf>. Readers are
invited and encouraged to offer other explanations for the measurements.

With kind regards,

Oliver
=====================
Composition of the Solar Interior: Information from Isotope Ratios

Oliver Manuel(1) and Stig Friberg(2)
(1) University of Missouri-Rolla, Department of Chemistry, 142 Schrenk Hall,
Rolla, MO 65401 om@umr.edu
(2) Clarkson University, Department of Chemistry, 641 Spring Hill Estates,
Eminence, KY 13699-5814

Over 99.5% of the surface of the Sun is hydrogen (H) and helium (He) - - the
two lightest elements.  By itself, the lightest one, H comprises > 90%.
Systematic alterations seen in isotope ratios of elements coming from the
Sun suggest that its interior may be mostly the same seven, even-numbered
elements Harkins [1] found to comprise 99% of ordinary meteorites - iron
(Fe), oxygen (O), nickel (Ni), silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and
calcium (Ca). 

[1] Harkins, W. D., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 39, 856-879 (1917)


=============
(8) AND FINALLY: GOOD GRIEF! CHEERFUL CHILDREN DIE YOUNGER THAN GLOOMY
CLASSMATES, SAYS UK STUDY

>From British Medical Journal, 5 October 2002
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/325/7367/733/a

Roger Dobson, Abergavenny

Cheerfulness is not necessarily healthy. It may be widely believed that
cheerful children become happy, healthy, and even wise adults who live to a
good old age, but new research suggests that as adults they tend to die
earlier than their less cheerful classmates.

"Children who were rated by their parents and teachers as more
cheerful/optimistic, and as having a sense of humour, died earlier than
those who were less cheerful," says a report of the research (Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin 2002:28; 1155-65).

In the study psychologists looked at health data on 1216 men and women who
were first assessed as children in 1922, when several hundred diverse
variables were recorded, and who were then monitored at intervals during
their adult life.

Among the variables recorded were cheerfulness or optimism and a sense of
humour, each of which was scored by parents and teachers on an 11 point
scale.

The psychologists merged the data on cheerfulness with information on the
time and cause of death in the people who had died and a number of other
variablesincluding adult personality, risky hobbies, smoking, drinking, and
obesityin an attempt to explain the link between childhood cheerfulness and
mortality.

"Cheerful children grew up to be more likely to die in any given year but
not more likely to die of any particular cause," says the report.

One theory, the researchers say, is that cheerful children might as adults
have had poorer health behaviour because they were less concerned about
things that could go wrong with their bodies.

And the results do show that children who were especially cheerful grew up
to drink more alcohol, smoke more cigarettes, and engage in riskier hobbies
and activities.

But the report cautions: "Although more cheerful children did grow up to
smoke and drink more heavily than those less cheerful, these behaviours
cannot fully explain their relatively early deaths."

Nor did the cheerful children's greater participation in risky hobbies later
in life explain their earlier deaths, say the researchers, from the
University of California, the State University of New York medical school,
and La Sierra University.

No evidence was found for several theories, including the possibility of a
link between cheerfulness and psycho-emotional difficulties, but the report
adds, "These data do hint, however, that cheerful children grow up to be
more careless about their health."

It adds, "In contrast with optimism and happiness, cheerfulness is a complex
lifelong pattern that leads one in a number of directions, some of which
seem to involve unhealthy habits.

"We conclude that although optimism and positive emotions have been shown to
have positive effects when people are faced with short-term crisis, the
long-term effects of high levels of cheerfulness are more complex and seem
not entirely positive."

Copyright 2002, BMJ

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