Date sent: Thu, 01 May 1997 15:44:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Benny J Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>
Subject: HONDURAS HIT
HONDURAS FIREBALL EVENT DID NOT CREATE IMPACT CRATER
From: SKY & TELESCOPE, June 1997
An international team of specialists has found no evidence for a
50-meter-wide impact crater in Honduras, despite reports to the
contrary following a spectacular bolide last November 22nd (see
March issue of S&T, p.12). According to Jiri Borovicka (Ondrejov
Observatory) and Maria Cristina Pineda de Carias (National
Autonomous University of Honduras), that fireball had a peak
apparent magnitude of -19 to -21, roughly a thousand times brighter
than the full Moon! The event probably resulted in sizeable
meteorites near the Honduras-Guatemala border, though none has been
Date sent: Thu, 01 May 1997 08:59:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Benny J Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>
Subject: PALEO-ASTRONOMY: SKY & MANKIND
"Paleoastronomy: Sky and Mankind"
We invite you to attend the conference "Paleoastronomy: Sky and
Mankind" to be held in Moscow in the premises of the Moscow
University and Sternberg Astronomical Institute. The conference will
be held under the auspices of the Euro-Asian Astronomical Society
(EAAS) as a part of the science program of the 4th regular EAAS
Meeting (between 22nd of October and the 1st of November).
The topics of the conference are:
- Ancient Civilizations and SETI Problems
- The Ancient Sun and Mankind
- The History of Astronomy in the History of Culture
The working languages of the conference will be Russian and English.
The Proceedings of the conference will be published in English in
the international journal "Astronomical & Astrophysical
If you would like to participate in the conference, please,
inform us at your earliest convenience. Please, mail the title of
your contribution before May 31, 1997 and the full text of the
abstract, before June 30, 1997.
Organizer of the EAAS meeting
Euro-Asian Astronomical Society
Sternberg Astronomical Institute
13, Universitetskij prosp.,
Moscow 119899, Russia
Phone/Fax: (7-095) 9328844
Fax (7-095) 9390126
On behalf of EAAS
Tartu observatory, To~ravere, EE2444
Phone: (372)7- 410265
Fax : (372)7- 410205
Date sent: Thu, 1 May 1997 12:33:34 +0100
To: JR Tate <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copies to: Alain MAURY <email@example.com>,
Arthur C Clarke <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
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cambridge-conference <firstname.lastname@example.org>, CNINews1@aol.com,
Dr Andrea Carusi <email@example.com>,
Dr Benny Peiser <B.J.PEISER@livjm.ac.uk>,
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Iwan Williams <I.P.Williams@qmw.ac.uk>,
James Dick <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
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Roy Bird <Topeventsltd@btinternet.com>
From: Michael Martin-Smith <email@example.com>
Send reply to: Michael Martin-Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Clementine II Science Meeting
In message <MAPI.Id.0016.00723737202020204642423530303031@MAPI.to.RFC822
>, JR Tate <email@example.com> writes
>Here are some preliminary notes on the Clementine II Science meeting that I
>recently attended in the USA. They are far from complete, but should give you
>a flavour for the sort of things that were discussed.
>Notes on the Clementine II Science Meeting
>Held at HQ US Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs
>27th - 28th March 1997
>Colonel SP Worden, the Deputy Director Requirements, US Air Force Space
>Command, introduced the meeting, and gave an overview of the Clementine
>Clementine I was designed to demonstrate military technology, and, at the
>same time managed to do some "neat science". It was, however, a shame that
>the asteroid fly-by element of the mission failed.
>There is high interest in Congress in the programme. $45 million has been
>allocated, along with funds from the US Air Force budget, for a follow-on
>mission (Clementine II). The White House has directed that this mission is to
>be a collaborative effort with NASA. This cold result in a shuttle launch,
>allowing a larger payload.
>The USAF has recommended that Clementine II should be a deep space mission,
>with a launch date in late 1999 or early 2000, and should include interaction
>with an Earth crossing asteroid. NASA will lead the science aspects of the
>mission, while AFSPC will be the overall mission leaders.
>Hopefully Clementines I and II are the first of a series of joint missions.
>The Clementine II mission will be totally unclassified, and there are
>possibilities for international co-operation.
>There is, as yet, no DoD approval for an asteroid rendezvous, but Congress
>has expressed its interest in asteroid research. A decision of the mission
>profile will be announced in August 1997. There are three possibilities:
>a. Earth Orbit mission
>b. Full mission, including at least one asteroid encounter.
>c. A hybrid mission.
>A treaty compliance meeting has already taken place, and there seem to be no
>problems with any of the planned mission profiles.
>Planetary Defence is not yet a formal DoD mission, but there is a study
>underway at the moment, and it seems likely that it will become so in the
>An interagency agreement is expected to say the necessary surveillance
>technology and assets exist, and that the planned asteroid science to be done
>by Clementine II is necessary.
>The NASA director, Dan Goldin, regards Clementine II as a very exciting
>mission, and this feeling is echoed by the NASA senior management.
>NASA welcomes involvement, as long as:
>a. NASA is to lead on science matters.
>b. The science cost is affordable.
>c. All treaty commitments are observed.
>Dr Eugene Shoemaker will lead the science definition team, to report to NASA
>in September 1997. The final NASA decision will be published in the same
>A NASA Science Announcement of Opportunity (AO) will be published soon
>Foreign institutions may apply, but will require governmental support to be
>JPL will provide engineering and programme support.
>NASA has a number of related missions in train:
>Fly-by of Mathilde in Jun 97
>Rendezvous with Eros in Jan 99
>Launch in Feb 99
>Sample and return mission to Comet Wild 2 in 2004
>Deep Space 1 (a New Millennium Mission)
>Launch Jul 98
>Fly-by of asteroid McAuliffe in Jan 99
>Fly-by of a DS1 will fly by comet West-Kohoutek-Ikemura and the planet Mars
>As an aside, it was stated that the official view is that an asteroid or
>comet passing within 7.5 x 106 km of the Earth is regarded as a Hazardous
>USAF PL/SX - DAVID BARNHART
>Clementine II is primarily a military mission, but there is, and will be a
>synergistic relationship with NASA.
>Instrumentation will be designed for dual military/science roles.
>A microsatellite is defined as a 3 axis stabilised device, with a "wet" mass
>of between 2 and 20 kg.
>There was a funding shortfall in FY 96/97 resulting in contingency planning
>for reduced mission profiles. The current options are:
>a. Earth orbit
>b. Asteroid mission
>c. Hybrid mission.
>The final choice will depend on funding decisions made in September 1997.
>A Titan II launch has been "booked" for Clementine II, but a free Shuttle
>launch would be a much better option, assuming that "HAZMAT" safety problems
>can be resolved.
>DR. EUGENE SHOEMAKER
>The Science Definition Team will have to look at two things:
>a. What science can be achieved with the Air Force mission hardware?
>b. What extra instrumentation can be fitted to the spacecraft?
>LLNL - DR. ARNO LEDEBUHR
>The Clementine II bus will go for a 50-100 km fly-by of the target asteroid.
>There will be a suite of Integrated Mission Sensors.
>Bus range at probe impact will be 100-300 km, before closest approach.
>Probes will be released about 3 hours before impact.
>Bus navigation system will be switched off when the target asteroid fills the
>CCD field of view.
>The asteroid capable probes will be 30"-40" long, weighing 19.6 kg.
>There is, therefore, not much opportunity to fit additional science packages
>on the impact probes.
>Optical sensors have been chosen, as they are not anti-ICBM capable, and the
>probes will only be capable of low relative velocities. These measures are
>required for treaty compliance.
>The Clementine I sensor suite weighed 7.5 kg and consisted of:
>Near IR camera
>Long wave IR camera
>The Clementine II package will include a telescope with five channels:
>High resolution visible
>Medium resolution near IR
>Medium resolution Long Wave IR
>Profiling LIDAR (ranger)
>The mothership will have 8 Gb of memory on board.
>The optimal distance for asteroid targets is 0.2 AU to give useable radar
>The nominal Clementine II mission will visit two asteroids.
>Best fit for the mission so far would be:
>1986 JK - a C-type asteroid, possibly a dormant or extinct comet (dynamic and
>spectral evidence available).
>c. 1 km diameter in an orbit typical of Jupiter family comets.
>4179 Toutatis - S-type (from the inner asteroid belt and Earth crossing).
>Possibly the best known ECA and the location of its centre of mass is known
>to within 10 cm at any time.
>1.92 x 2.40 x 4.60 km in size.
>Launch opportunities for missions to both of these are 4 June 1999 and 10
>Dr. Eugene Shoemaker
>Dr Shoemaker described what he called "the ECA zoo".
>Many of the asteroids that we see now are fragments of the cores, mantle and
>crust of larger, differentiated parent bodies. In addition there are extinct
>comets from both the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt.
>We need data on asteroid compositions, sizes and spin states.
>Questions on Structure
>Are they structurally coherent?
>Do they have fractures or faults?
>Are they debris piles?
>If so, what is the size distribution of fragments?
>Were the primitive parent bodies homogenous or heterogeneous?
>If the parent bodies were differentiated, compositional or volcanic
>Craters and regolith indicate the age of a body and its evolution.
>Are they homogenous or heterogeneous?
>Are they single or multiple bodies?
>What is their surface structure?
>Do they have vents or fissures?
>Will the probe impact "turn on" cometary activity?
>There followed a discussion on impact science led by Dr Greg Canavan who
>pointed out that the vapour effect indicates compressional strength of the
>target, while rubblisation indicates tensile strength.
>Dr Tom Ahrens explained that the cratering of small asteroids is controlled
>by their structural strength. For larger bodies gravity is the controlling
>influence. The threshold between the two is at an approximate diameter of 150
>metres. He added that structural strength decreases with decreasing size as
>fault configurations become more critical.
>The fact that shocked gasses from an impact fluoresce may be useful in
>determining compositions. However, the spectra obtained from the gas plume
>from the impact would be contaminated by vaporised material from the
>POTENTIAL SECONDARY MISSION OBJECTIVES
>Dust Studies - Dr. Tom Economou
> Planetary / Satellites
>Man made space debris
>Various dust detectors were described.
>Survey for Asteroids - Dr. Duncan Steel
>Dr Steel discussed the advantages of searching for Earth crossing asteroids
>from the spacecraft, but noted that the detection rates would probably be
>He pointed out that meteoroid orbits do not resemble those of comets, but
>look like those of the Aten family. There appear to be two main source
>directions, anti-helion and helion.
>He warned all present of the likelihood of a major meteor storm on 17th
>November 1999, the Leonids. This storm recurs at 33 to 34 year intervals, and
>is expected to be particularly heavy in 1999. This event could pose a
>considerable threat to satellites or other assets in Earth orbit.
>Search for Microlensing Effects
>It was suggested that the Clementine II spacecraft would make a good platform
>for observing microlensing effects caused by Dark Matter. This would be
>achieved by measuring parallax effects. Similar research has already
>indicated the presence of MACHOs in the galactic halo, and that the Milky
>Way is a barred spiral galaxy.
>OPTIONS FOR AN EXTENDED MISSION
>Assuming that the primary mission objectives are achieved there may be
>potential for extending the spacecraft mission to achieve further scientific
>goals. A number of possibilities were discussed.
>Return to the Moon
>The spacecraft could be inserted into a low polar orbit around the moon. It
>would then use its LIDAR to accurately determine the topographic
>configuration of the lunar surface.
>One major task would be the production of an accurate radar map of the
>possible ice deposits at the lunar pole discovered by Clementine I.
>Confirmation of the existance of substantial quantities of ice could have a
>profound effect on the future exploration of the solar system. Ice would be
>detected by using the Coherent Backscatter Opposition Effect, probably using
>the spacecrafts main communication dish as a radar antenna.
>Deep Space Profiles
>The possibility that the spacecraft could be configured to travel to Mars, or
>the inner asteroid belt were discussed. It was agreed that these profiles
>were possible, and would be considered further.
>Ground Based NEO Surveys
>There then followed a briefing on Ground Based NEO Surveys, including:
>European Activity - Richard Tremayne-Smith (BNSC)
>It was stated that the European position is that mitigation of potential
>impacts is not an issue until Clementine II and Rosetta type missions have
>ESA is undertaking a study of the NEO threat.
>The Spaceguard Foundation - Dr. Duncan Steel
>The Spaceguard Foundation currently has 53 members, with 13 pending
>There are associate organisations in Japan and the UK, with organisations in
>Germany, France and Finland pending.
>ESA has allocated $100,000 to the Foundation to help establish a central node
>for NEO data.
>If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch.
Thank you very much for this information on the proposed
Clementine 2 mission; considering the issues involved, it is remarkably
good value for money, and hard to see how it could be refused!
I am interested to note, as a part-time popular science writer, how
greatly genuine public interest in this area is growing; I cite articles
in Astronomy Now, Quest for Knowledge, and even UFO Magazine, as well as
the recent Channel 5 programme "Target Earth", an Open University
lesson,and programmes over the past 12-18 months on BBC Horizon and
Equinox - all this in Britain alone!
There is no doubt that the paradigm of catastrophism in
Evolution by impact is an idea whose time has come, and that the task of
persuading the educated public of the value of Spaceguard is becoming
easier. I have phoned Channel 5 within 5 minutes of "Target Earth" to
congratulate them ; I wonder if a formal meesage of support from
Spaceguard UK/ Spaceguard Foundation would help towards ensuring that
the issue doesn't become a nine days wonder, and, indeed, lead to my
suggestion of a follow up of countermeasures/space development in depth
being taken up?
CCCMENU CCC for 1997