CCNet DIGEST, 26 November 1998

    The Daily Telegraph, 26 November 1998

    Tomorrow's World <>

    BBC Network Online

    Duncan Steel <> wrote:

    Rainer Arlt <>

    P. Gronkowski et al., PEDAGOG UNIVERSITY, POLAND

    Z. Sekanina, CALTECH, JET PROP LAB



From The Daily Telegraph, 26 November 1998

By Robert Matthews

THE mystery of Stonehenge may have been solved. A leading British
astronomer has found astonishing evidence that it was an early warning
system for meteor storms.

It has long been suspected that Stonehenge served some astronomical
purpose, as many of its stones are aligned with events such as the
rising of the midsummer sun. 

Dr Duncan Steel, an authority on comets, was researching the cause of
cosmic impacts such as the Tunguska event of 1908, when a meteor
exploded over Siberia with the energy of a hydrogen bomb.

Calculations point to the existence of a giant comet that entered the
solar system 20,000 years ago and disintegrated, leaving a trail of
debris through which the Earth occasionally wanders. Dr Steel found
that the Earth would have been at greatest risk from meteor impacts
about 5,000 to 5,500 years ago - when work began on Stonehenge. He also
found that on the day of highest danger, the comet trail would have
risen above the horizon at Stonehenge in line with the Heel Stone.

Dr Steel believes that the link between the Heel Stone and midsummer's
day is a fluke - that the Earth cut across the debris trail around the
same time. And he suggests that the Long Barrows, usually thought to be
Iron Age burial chambers, might have been built for a very different
purpose. "They certainly look like air-raid shelters - perhaps that's
what they are."

His report is published this week by Archaeopress.

Copyright 1998, The Daily Telegraph

BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL REPORTS-S728, 1998 Natural Catastrophes During
Bronze Age Civilisations: Archaeological, geological, astronomical and
cultural perspectives. Edited by Benny J. Peiser, Trevor Palmer and
Mark E. Bailey. ISBN 0 86054 916 X., 252 pp., 39 photos, 46 figures, 13
tables, 36.00. [Archaeopress, Oxford]


From the BBC
Tomorrow's World <>

This year’s Leonid meteor storm promised damage to satellites and a
celestial show for the world. For scientists it was a change to fly
through a comet tail without mounting an expensive planetary rocket

The tiny specks of cometary dust and dirt which came hurtling through
the atmosphere at over 70 kilometres a second carried with them
priceless clues to the origin of the solar system and even life on
Earth. The storm was predicted to break in the early morning of
Wednesday 18th November as Earth crossed the plane of the comet. On
Monday night, 13 hours before, across the UK reports were coming in of
bright fire balls streaking across the night sky.

Across the globe people counted the meteors, and recorded their
colours. High above our heads fleets of satellites were turned away
from the storm and instructed to report back the number of times they
were hit. Even the tiny wobbles on the Hubble telescope were recorded.
Out of Japan NASA sent two planes packed with astronomers and
instruments to chase the storm. BBC science journalist Chris Riley
joined the flight. His mission diary below documents NASA’s airborne
expedition out of Okinawa.

A complete version of this diary can be found on the BBC Tomorrow's
World Website. <>


From the BBC

By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

Scientists have discovered what they believe may be the molecular basis
of evolution.

They may have found out what actually happens to an organism's genes
that enables its offspring to adapt and change - that is to evolve into
new types of living creatures.

The researchers at the University of Chicago say that although an
organism's DNA is changing over time, many of the individual, small
genetic variations just accumulate and only become noticeable when that
organism is under environmental stress.

You can look at it this way: while an animal may be perfectly adapted
to its environment, behind the scenes redundant copies of its genes are

Only when the creature's environment alters and it needs to adapt to
the changing conditions do these mutations come to the fore.

Essence of evolution

Most mutations will be harmful and will not help the creature survive
better. But some mutations just might provide an edge.

This is the essence of evolution - creatures have to adapt to changing
conditions. Those that have an edge will survive - those that do not
will perish.

"For the first time we have a molecular mechanism that explains how
organisms that have stuck to the same shape for eons can evolve new
traits that help them adapt to changing conditions," says Susan 
Lindquist, professor of molecular genetics & cell biology at the
University of Chicago.

The way cells do this is by using molecules called heat shock proteins,
in particular Hsp 90. Usually this molecule helps other molecules in
the cell to cope with heat.

But when an organism is under particular stress and has to cope with a
changing environment, it appears that Hsp 90 gets called away from its
normal duties and many of the genetic mutations that had hitherto been
masked suddenly break out.

These can then be passed onto the organism's offspring to produce
changes in body plan.

New environment

"This sounds like a very bad thing, and no doubt it is for most of the
individuals," says Lindquist. "But for some, the changes might be
beneficial for adapting to a new environment."

Lindquist and Suzanne Rutherford, a postdoctoral fellow, demonstrated
that reducing levels of Hsp 90 allowed natural genetic abnormalities
hidden in fruit fly populations to suddenly appear.

They produced flies with eyes of different colours; deformed in shape
or absent; flies with misshapen legs; flies with small or absent wings,
and so on.

Lindquist speculates that Hsp 90 may be a key player in controlling the
alternation between long periods of genetic stability and the sudden
bursts of change seen in the fossil record during times when the Earth
was undergoing major climate changes.

"The way that Hsp 90 covers and uncovers hidden genetic variations
provides a very plausible molecular mechanism for evolution, but
proving that it actually works over long timescales will be no easy
task," she says.

Copyright 1998, BBC


From Duncan Steel <> wrote:

Dear Benny,

Members of this list may find the following paper of interest:

Marek Zbik, "Historical Notes on the Tunguska Cosmic Catastrophe",
Bulletin of the Polish Academy of Sciences: Earth Sciences,
volume 45, No.2-4, pp.211-238 (1997).

Duncan Steel


From Rainer Arlt <>

I M O   S h o w e r   C i r c u l a r

Activity profile of the 1998 LEONIDS


A first population index and ZHR profile of the 1998 return of the
Leonids is given below. The population index r represents the increase
of meteor numbers towards fainter magnitudes. A small value means a
high proportion of bright meteors. The profile shows low r-values
between solar longitudes 233.9 and 235.5 (Nov 16, 11h and Nov 18, 01h
UT), except for a short period of high r-value at 235.26 (Nov 17,
19h15m UT; all long-itudes refer to eq. J2000).

The low population index is typical for the background component
of the Leonid meteoroid stream being rich in bright meteors.
Predictions were given for the storm component of the stream.
The strength of this component, which is formed by freshly ejected
material from the parent comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, can hardly be
estimated in advance. A young meteoroid stream component is rich
in faint meteors. The increase of r at the time of storm pre-
diction hints on the presence of this component.

The ZHR profile shows a broad maximum centred at solar longitude
234.5 (Nov 17, 01h30m UT) with an average ZHR of 260. The full
width at half maximum is about 16 hours. The 'storm component'
exhibits an enhancement at the declining part of the background
activity. The peak time of this component lies between 235.3 and
235.4 (Nov 17, 20h20m and 22h30m UT).

The maximum ZHR is lower than what one might have expected after
the excited reports about the fireball night Nov 16-17. However,
there is actually no report giving 500 _recorded_ meteors in an
hour. Rates of 1000 or 2000 are obviously based on extrapolations
or sums of several observers.

The strong background component before the 'storm component'
resembles the appearance of the 1965 Leonids, one year before
the 1966 storm. The prospects for 1999 may be evaluated
comparing the 1998 Leonid data with previous Leonid outbursts
and their 'year before'.


The population index and ZHR profiles given below are based on
the following observers:

Ghazalaha Al-Abed (ABEGH), Iyad Ahmad (AHMIY), Ahmad Al-Niamat (ALNAH),
Rainer Arlt (ARLRA), Joseph D. Assmus (ASSJO), Zaid Ata (ATAZA),
Jlia Babina (BABJL), Ana Bankovic (BANAN), Rony Barry (BARRO),
Luis R. Bellot (BELLU), Felix Bettonvil (BETFE), Neil Bone (BONNE),
Mark Borg (BORMR), Michael Boschat (BOSMI), Joana M. Brunet (BRUJO),
Marija Cajetinac (CAJMA), Arturo Carvajal R. (CARAR), Tal Carmon (CARTA),
Andrew Casely (CASAN), Matthew Collier (COLMA), Tim Cooper (COOTI),
Uros Cotar (COTUR), Stefano Crivello (CRIST), Hani Dalee (DALHA),
Luigi d'Argliano (DARLU), Mark Davis (DAVMA), Benoit Dejust (DEJBE),
Vincent Desmarais (DESVI), Peter Detterline (DETPE), Elena Dimovski
(DIMEL), John Drummond (DRUJO), Tonis Eenmae (EENTO), Maurizio Eltri
(ELTMA), Frank Enzlein (ENZFR), Tamas Fodor (FODTA), Keiiti Fukui
(FUKKE), Nobuyuki Fukuda (FUKNO), Ofer Gabzo (GABOF), George W. Gliba
(GLIGE), Orly Gnat (GNAOR), Shelagh Godwin (GODSH), Amit Gokhale (GOKAM),
Sagar Gokhale (GOKSA), Yeshodhan Gokhle (GOKYE), Alexandra Golova (GOLAL),
Prerana Gore (GORPA), Roberto Gorelli (GORRO), Michal Haltuf (HALMI),
Takema Hashimoto (HASTA), Roberto Haver (HAVRO), Kim Hay (HAYKI),
Amera Hemsy (HEMAM), Kamil Hornoch (HORKM), Daiyu Ito (ITODA),
Kiyoshi Izumi (IZUKI), Helle Jaaniste (JAAHE), Vibor Jelic (JELVI),
Carl Johannink (JOHCA), Ivan Jokic (JOKIV), Kevin Jones (JONKE),
Javor Kac (KACJA), Primoz Kajdic (KAJPR), D. Kalayda (KALDU),
Dmitrij Karkach (KARDM), Niladri Kar (KARNI), Kenya Kawabata (KAWKE),
Srdjan Keca (KECSR), Akos Kereszturi (KERAK), Noor Al-Khateeb (KHANO),
Mark Kidger (KIDMA), Kevin Kilkenny (KILKE), Khalil Konsul (KONKH),
Marija Kotur (KOTMA), Jakub Koukal (KOUJA), Nikola Kresojevic (KRENI),
Tom Kucharski (KUCTO), Brigitte Kuneth (KUNBR), Werfried Kuneth (KUNWE),
Zsolt Lantos (LANZS), Anna S. Levina (LEVAN), Mihir Limaye (LIMMH),
Vladimir Lukic (LUKVL), Robert Lunsford (LUNRO), Mirjana Malaric (MALMR),
Katuhiko Mameta (MAMKA), David Martinez Delgado (MARDA), Pierre Martin
(MARPI), Takuya Maruyama (MARTA), Antonio Martinez (MARTI),
Yukihisa Matumoto (MATYU), Alastair McBeath (MCBAL), Stephen McCann
(MCCST), Lukas Mecir (MECLU), Mark Mikutis (MIKMR), Ana Milovanovic
(MILAA), Dragan Milisavljevic (MILDR), Iris Miljacki (MILIR),
Hidekatu Mizoguchi (MIZHI), Amruta Modani (MODAM), Sirko Molau (MOLSI),
William Morgan (MORWI), Darshan Mundada (MUNDA), Sin Nakayama (NAKSI),
Koji Naniwada (NANKO), Sven Nather (NATSV), Dalibor Nikolic (NIKDA),
Prakash Nitsure (NITPR), Mohammad Odeh (ODEMO), Ibrahim Odwan (ODWIB),
Eran Ofek (OFEER), Hiroyuki Okayasu (OKAHI), Masayuki Oka (OKAMA),
Dragana Okolic (OKODR), Kazuhiro Osada (OSAKA), Ketan Pendse (PENKE),
Alfredo Pereira (PERAF), Dusan Perovic (PERDU), Suyin Perret-Gentil
(PERSU), Furio Pieri (PIEFU), Mila Popovic (POPMI), Dubravko Potkrajac
(POTDU), Tushar Purohit (PURTU), Ina Rendtel (RENIN), Jurgen Rendtel
(RENJU), Francisco Rodriguez Ramirez (RODFR), Juan Rodriguez (RODJU),
Victor Ruiz Ruiz (RUIVI), K.V. Sankaranarayanan (SANKV), Shashank
Shalgar (SHASH), Brian Shulist (SHUBR), Hiroyuki Sioi (SIOHI),
Vesna Slavkovic (SLAVE), James N. Smith (SMIJN), Manuel Solano Ruiz
(SOLMA), George Spalding (SPAGE), Ulrich Sperberg (SPEUL), Mark
Stafford (STAMA), Enrico Stomeo (STOEN), Niko Stritof (STRNI), David
Swann (SWADA), Eva Szabados (SZAEV), Richard Taibi (TAIRI), Masaaki
Takanasi (TAKMA), Mika Takanasi (TAKMI), Khaled Tell (TELKH), Istvan
Tepliczky (TEPIS), Kazumi Terakubo (TERKA), Neelima Thatte (THANE),
Danilo Tomic (TOMDA), Yasuhiro Tonomura (TONYA), Michael Toomey (TOOMI),
Gabrijela Triglav (TRIGA), Josep M. Trigo Rodriguez (TRIJO), Mihaela
Triglav (TRIMI), Anne van Weerden (VANAE), Erwin van Ballegoy (VANER),
Miquel A. Villalonga Vidal (VILMQ), Catarina Vitorino (VITCA),
Marija Vlajic (VLAMA), Maja Vuckovic (VUCMJ), Barbara Wilson (WILBA),
George Zay (ZAYGE).

Date   Time Solarlong ZHR   +-  nLEO nOBS
Nov 14 2000  232.266  10.1  2.4   16   4
Nov 15 0830  232.789  20.8  6.6    9   1
Nov 15 2130  233.331  17.3  2.0   73  12
Nov 16 0030  233.455   8.5  0.9   90  25
Nov 16 0330  233.579   6.3  0.9   53  16
Nov 16 1030  233.887  26.9  2.4  124   6
Nov 16 1400  234.033  40.8  3.3  155   7
Nov 16 1840  234.227 121.3 11.4  113   8
Nov 16 1910  234.251 140.6  8.4  276  16
Nov 16 2050  234.315 162.0  6.1  706  25
Nov 16 2200  234.361 163.8  4.8 1188  31
Nov 16 2320  234.420 211.4  4.2 2569  57
Nov 17 0030  234.471 241.9  3.4 4992 127
Nov 17 0130  234.511 256.7  3.1 7017 176
Nov 17 0230  234.555 252.2  3.0 7190 175
Nov 17 0330  234.598 243.0  3.3 5451 129
Nov 17 0430  234.639 239.7  4.2 3222  66
Nov 17 0620  234.711 202.0  5.4 1415  35
Nov 17 0720  234.756 188.7  5.3 1265  36
Nov 17 0840  234.811 166.8  4.1 1650  41
Nov 17 0930  234.848 158.8  4.1 1470  35
Nov 17 1040  234.897 135.2  4.3  985  24
Nov 17 1130  234.931 125.0  5.7  483  11
Nov 17 1620  235.131 100.7  4.7  450  14
Nov 17 1700  235.164 101.0  3.3  924  28
Nov 17 1810  235.212 105.1  2.6 1613  47
Nov 17 1910  235.255 111.1  2.5 1996  62
Nov 17 2020  235.300 120.0  3.2 1392  51
Nov 17 2120  235.344 118.1  4.5  674  32
Nov 17 2200  235.373 127.2  7.9  260  11
Nov 18 0010  235.462  45.5  1.9  549  36
Nov 18 0110  235.505  46.7  1.3 1347  80
Nov 18 0230  235.559  44.0  1.4  983  55
Nov 18 0600  235.705  33.2  1.7  375  22
Nov 18 0800  235.791  33.3  1.9  298  19
Nov 18 0940  235.862  36.2  2.9  160   8
Nov 18 1710  236.180  32.6  6.7   23   3
Nov 18 1840  236.239  41.9  2.7  235  13
Nov 18 1940  236.281  40.1  2.5  254  13
Nov 18 2320  236.434  16.5  2.1   63   7
Nov 19 0100  236.505  13.5  1.8   53   7
Nov 19 0130  236.526  20.7  3.6   32   3
Nov 20 0800  237.809  30.1  6.3   22   2

Solar longitudes refer to eq. J2000, 'nLEO' is the number of
Leonids involved in the average, 'nOBS' is the number of
observing periods averaged. ZHRs were computed with the follow-
ing population index profile:

Date   Time Solarlong  r    +-   nLEO
Nov 15 1730  233.170 2.420 0.270   63
Nov 16 1130  233.919 1.307 0.073  117
Nov 16 1600  234.113 1.382 0.044  900
Nov 16 1920  234.250 1.601 0.172  833
Nov 16 2240  234.390 1.271 0.025 1873
Nov 17 0020  234.465 1.228 0.012 5947
Nov 17 0200  234.535 1.275 0.013 8378
Nov 17 0320  234.591 1.350 0.019 4702
Nov 17 0620  234.717 1.440 0.043 1779
Nov 17 0900  234.827 1.421 0.045 2076
Nov 17 1020  234.881 1.417 0.058  863
Nov 17 1620  235.130 1.940 0.283  162
Nov 17 1900  235.245 2.038 0.176  660
Nov 17 1920  235.261 1.988 0.089 1430
Nov 17 1930  235.268 1.921 0.086 1014
Nov 17 2200  235.373 1.295 0.013   45
Nov 17 2310  235.421 1.394 0.042  188
Nov 18 0020  235.467 1.534 0.042  586
Nov 18 0100  235.501 1.620 0.048  658
Nov 18 0220  235.553 1.970 0.204  315
Nov 18 0800  235.790 1.802 0.108  279
Nov 18 1720  236.184 1.982 0.186  272
Nov 18 1900  236.257 2.160 0.122  261
Nov 18 2300  236.433 2.106 0.218   65

The zenithal exponent was gamma=1.0; a re-computation with
gamma=1.4 did not produce significantly different results.
Observations with radiant elevations lower than 20 degrees
or total corrections greater than 5.0 were excluded from the

More observational reports were received from

Andras Adrovicz, Farrahzadi Azzadeh, Bozorgi Behnaz, Worachate
Boonplod, Ravi Brahmavar, Diadina Cotte, Szillard Csizmadia, Marc
de Lignie, David Dickinson, Alipour Elnaz, David Farkas, Azeemlu
Fatemeh, Katalin Hidasi, Brujerdi Hoda, Peter Horvath, Hyabanyan
Hossein, Yu Ji-hong, Timo Kinnunen, Csaba Lendvai, Doug Little,
Keith Little, Paul Maley, Maleki Mania, Fred Mason, Dan McIntosh,
Karoly Mikics, Masjedi Morad, Adam Nemeth, Shigemi Numazawa, Andras
Petyus, Adam Pozsik, Rezaai Reza, Qi Rui, Khoeini Saloumeh, Moghimi
Saman, Debasis Sarkar, Lamei Sepideh, Kharrazi Sharmin, Amy Shelton,
Ghassemi Sima, Szandor Szabo, Darren Tabbot, Hezareh Talayeh,
Zoltan Tarnoki, Zoltan Toth, Zoltan Zelko, Sajjadi Zeynab Wu Zhi-wei

Rainer Arlt, 1998 November 26, 11h UT.
International Meteor Organization


P. Gronkowski*) & J. Smela: The cometary outbursts at large
heliocentric distances. ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.338,
No.2, pp.761-766


A model is presented explaining changes in cometary brightness  during
an outburst at large heliocentric distances. It is shown that a
combination of the following effects can explain the  main
characteristics of outburst at large heliocentric  distances: the
specific exothermic processes in cometary nucleus (as the HCN
polymerisation and the crystallization of the water amorphous ice,
connected with the ejection of the large quantities of dust) and the
sublimation of CO or CO2 from the comet's nucleus. The obtained results
are in good agreement with observations. Copyright 1998, Institute for
Scientific Information Inc.


Z. Sekanina: A double nucleus of comet Evans-Drinkwater (C/1996 J1).
ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.339, No.1, pp.L25-L28


The nucleus of comet C/1996 J1, whose duplicity was first detected in
early May 1997, similar to 4 months after perihelion, is found to have
split nontidally similar to 70 days before perihelion at 1.65 AU from
the Sun. The secondary nucleus, discovered when in outburst and
subsequently observed for 8-1/2 months, had separated from the primary
nucleus at a rate of 1.7 m/s and drifted away from it with a radial
nongravitational deceleration of similar to 31 x 10(-5) the Sun's
attraction, typical for the short-lived companions. At the time of
splitting, this dynamically new comet was near conjunction with the Sun
and therefore unobservable from Earth. In late 1997 and early 1998,
when last seen, the companion was greater than or similar to 100 times
fainter relative to the primary component than it had been when first
reported. Copyright 1998, Institute for Scientific Information Inc.


E. Lellouch*), J. Crovisier, T. Lim, D. Bockelee Morvan, K. Leech,
M.S. Hanner, B. Altieri, B. Schmitt, F. Trotta, H.U. Keller: Evidence
for water ice and estimate of dust production rate in comet Hale-Bopp
at 2.9 AU from the Sun. ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS, 1998, Vol.339,
No.1, pp.L9-L12


We report observational evidence for water ice in comet C/1995 O1
(Hale-Bopp) when it was at 2.9 AU from the Sun, from emission features
at 44 and 65 mu m, and possibly an absorption feature at 3.1 mu m,
observed with ISO/LWS and PHT. We find that icy grains have mean radii
of 15 mu m within a factor of 2, lifetimes of similar to 2 days, a
temperature of similar to 153 K, and a total mass of similar to 2 x
10(9) kg. From investigation of the continuum spectrum at 43-195 mu m,
we also infer a production rate of large particles (similar to 100 mu
m) dust of about 4 x 10(4) kg s(-1). Copyright 1998, Institute for
Scientific Information Inc.

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