From: Bob Kobres <>
Organization: University of Georgia Libraries
Date sent: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 10:08:34 EST
Subject: Re: Halt Friend, or PHO?
Copies to:
Priority: normal

I'm phor PHO! Duncan's idea of Potentially Hazardous Object makes a lot of
sense--perhaps a scheme such as follows would fly.

NEO = Near-Earth Object: A newly discovered object within the inner Solar
System--a temporary designation--neo = new. The implication being that the
object was recently detected due to its nearness to Earth.

PHO = Potentially-Hazardous Object: An object that presents a finite threat to
Earth within the next millennium (or whatever interval)--a longer term
designation--pho = foe in sound and is etymologically near fear (phobos). The
implication being that this is an object we should fear until we transform it
into a:

BRO = Benign Resource-Object: An object that is not a near term threat but
rather a possible source of raw materials. The designation we ultimately want
for all PHOs--bro = brother or friend.

Such a naming convention would certainly provide all interested parties with a
clearer picture of what is out there regardless of an individual's ability to
interpret orbital data. This structure would seemingly not be difficult to
adopt since it would retain the most widely used acronym--NEO--as the initial
classification for an object until a well defined orbit for the NEO was
obtained. Only when that task is achieved would the PHO or BRO labels be used
to describe the object.

Bob Kobres

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phone= 706-542-0583

CCCMENU CCC for 1997