CCNet DIGEST 29 May 1998


   "A Type 0 civilization [that's us] is like a spoiled child, unable
   to control its self-destructive temper tantrums and outbursts. Its
   immature history is still haunted by the brutal sectarian,
   fundamentalist, nationalist, and racial hatreds of the past
   millenia. A type 0 civilization is still split along deep fracture
   lines created thousands of years in the past.

   The main danger faced by a Type 0 civilization occurs after its
   discovery of the chemical elements of the periodic chart.
   Inevitably, any intelligent civilization in the galaxy will discover
   two things: element 92 (uranium) and a chemical industry. With the
   discovery of uranium comes the possibility of annihilating
   themselves with nuclear weapons. With the creation of a chemical
   industry comes the possibility of polluting their environment with
   toxins and destroying their life-giving atmosphere.

   Given the fact that astrophysicists do not see evidence of life in
   nearby star systems, even though Drake's equations predict the
   existence of thousands of of intelligent civilizations in our
   galaxy, it is possible that our galaxy is filled with the ruins of
   Type 0 civilizations which either settled old grudges and jealousies
   via element 92 or else uncontrollably polluted their planet."

   Michio Kaku (Visions: How Science will Revolutionize the 21st
   Century, 1997)

    Danica Anderson <>

    Benny J Peiser <>

    Press Agency News <>

    Jonathan TATE <>




From Danica Anderson <>

I was amazed that Mr. Grondine's description of the House subcommittee.
What I was amazed at is how he would offer to everyone on an email
knowledge sharing topic on how he cured his headache. Going to a
'go-go' Bar, ogling ladies as objects, and not subjects, was definitely
off the mark for this email route.

Mr. Peiser, I was so pleased with the depth and quality of all topics
and information shared except this recent email. Not only was it
offensive but it damaged the high value this email route was known for.
It was refreshing for me to gather material and information without
much scrubbing of the predominant male assumptions and thought. Even
Barry Cunliffe's work on the Oxford Illustrated History of Europe
barely incorporated the depth and breadth of the matriarchy found in
prehistoric cultures. But, in his research and editing gender was not
an issue, the topic and subject at hand was carefully opened and

I hope Mr. Peiser you will continue to edit all materials with your
fine hand. This one escaped your scrutiny. 


Danica Anderson, M.A., CCCJS #16713


From Benny J Peiser <>

Dear Danica Anderson

Please accept my apoligies for my inadvertence to edit yesterday's
report by Ed Grondin on the House of Representatives' Space
Subcommittee Hearing. While there is very rarely the ned to edit
messages sent to me for circulation on the CCNet, I agree that Ed's
last paragraph was offensive (and in any case unrelated to the subject
matter of his report). I certainly should have asked Ed to delete this
paragraph. Please let me re-assure you that I will do my best in order
to avoid such inattentiveness in the future.

With kind regards

Benny J Peiser


From Press Agency News <>

By Gabriel Roberts, PA Features

Comet disaster movies just don't get much bigger then Deep Impact and
Armageddon - both hurtling to a cinema near you this year.

But is the current Hollywood obsession with asteroids just an attempt
to rival sinking boats and tentacled aliens - or should we start
building our bunkers and stocking up on tinned foods in anticipation of
the end of the world?

Deep Impact, from Steven Speilberg's new studio, is the story of the
world's reaction to a death sentence as it faces a comet so massive
that its impact with Earth will cause an 'ELA' - an Extinction Level
Event. Cinema-goers are promised the thrill of seeing a colossal tidal
wave engulf New York.

According to Dr Benny Peiser, social anthropologist and member of
Spaceguard UK, a comet (sic) hits the earth every few thousand years -
and there is no way of telling when the next one will strike.

"The last big asteroid impact was in 1908 in Siberia. It had the impact
of 2,000 Hiroshima bombs. Two hours later and it would have wiped out
St Petersburg, killing 200,000 people," he says.

"No scientist can give you an honest guarantee that nothing will happen
in the next few days, weeks or months. We simeply haven't got a clue
when the next impact could happen."

But Dr Peiser believes we will experience a similar 'little' impact in
the next few decades, but because we don't know when the last large
impact was, it is impossible to calculate exactly when the next one is

"We have to take it seriously because it is inevitable. We will be hit,
it is just a question of timing. Maybe it only happens every 100,000
years but what if this is year 99,000?" he says.

"This is a matter of global concern, it doesn't affect one particular
counrty, it affects all mankind."

"We are currently approximately scanning ten per cent of the skies but
we should be able to scan the entire environment to detect these
objects. If something is going to hit us, ideally we need a 20-year
lead time to deal with the problem. I very much doubt if we just had
one year there would be anything we could do. There is no planetary
defence system in place. This needs to be developed.

"The global community must be prepared to take this seriously and spend
the money that is required to protect our little world."

In fact Dr Peiser believes that there is evidence to suggest that the
collapse of the first civilizations of mankind in the early Bronze Age
may have been triggered by a meteor storm. There are certainly plenty
of apocalyptic legends - even the Book of Revelations makes mention of
stars falling from the sky. Some of Britain's leading astronomers
believe that multi-megaton showers of cometary debris occur every 3,000
to 5,000 years.

Dr Peiser questions whether there is intelligent life on earth as
politicians continue to bury their heads in the sand over the issue.

"For the first time in the evolution of life a species has become aware
not only of the danger it faces but also has the intelligence and
capability of protecting ourselves. We bear a huge responsibility not
just for the survival of our own species but for life."

So, what exactly are asteroids and comets? Asteroids are thought to be
minor planets 'left over' from the creation of the solar system. Comets
have been described as 'dirty snowballs', moade up of ice and dust that
can orbit the sun, and also occasionally hit the earth.

The world has had a near miss once already this year. On March 12 we
awoke to the news that an asteroid meassuring 1,500 metres in diametre
and called 1997 XF11 was in an orbit that would bring it uncomfortably
close to Earth in about 30 years time.

It it hit dry land the prediction was a breakdown in socities around
the globe - a return to the Dar Ages.

Fortunately for civilisation, the next day astronomers gave the all
clear. Two scientists discovered astronomical films taken of the object
which indicated that XF11 would actually miss us by 600,000 miles in
the year 2028.

Professor Mark Bailey, director of Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland
agrees with Dr Peiser that sooner or later an asteroid is going to run
into the earth.

He envisages a future where a device can actually land on the asteroid
and use powerful jets to deflect it away. If faced with little time it
might be necessary to blast it out of the skies but it would still be
important to know its structure and composition.

"It is a problem that should be addressed internationally. It would be
a shame if the only knowledge about these kind of objects was
restricted to NASA," he says.

David Hughes, Reader in Astronomy at Sheffield University, reckons the
image of the tidal wave engulfing New York in Spielberg's Deep Impact
is spot on. "The tidal wave would cause much more damage than the
initial blast," he says.

Hughes is part of the Near Earth Object Consortium and says while NASA
counterparts have been full of praise for Deep Impact they have been
less enthusiastic about the scientific basis of Armageddon. But he is
personally sceptical about the forecasts of asteroid doom.

"At the rate population is increasing on the planet there will be
global famine in 20 years time anyway. The problem is what some
astronomers are saying is essentially if you don't fund my idea all
civilisation is going to die off. People do tend to play the disaster
card in order to get the money."

"We have taken a few pictures from a long way away but what we need to
do is find out what they are like inside. We need to land on the
surface and do detailed analysis to find out if they are solid objects
or piles of rubble. The cost of an asteroid search is in the $ 48
million (dollars) bracket. Perhaps we could have a 'you've seen the
fim, now support the scientists' fund!'

Patrick Moore is another astronomer who is not overly concerned about
the threat of a NEO.

"It's possible but frankly I'm sceptical. The Earth is a fairly small
target. If we saw it soming in time we might be able to divert it but
we might not see it until it was too late. You are much more likely to
be run over by a bus. In fact there is no known record of a human being
hit by a NEO although an Egyptian dog was hit in 1912 - a case of being
in the wrong place at the wrong time."

But the last word goes to another grand old man of space - Sir Arthur C
Clarke. He noted that the dinosaurs became extinct because they had no
planetary defence system. We will deserve to become extinct, if we
don't have one."

(C) 1998 PA News Ltd.


From Jonathan TATE <>

It certainly seems that our American cousins are beginning to take the
problem of asteroidal and cometary impacts more seriously now. 
Combined with the excellent news from Japan, this is all most
encouraging, but, of course, the UK is playing no part in any of it. 
This is an enormous shame, as the UK has so much to offer.  Indeed,
many of the significant names in the field, both past and present, were
and are British.  In addition, facilities at the AAO (in particular,
the UKST) would greatly contribute, for minimal cost, to the expanding
global effort.

We at Spaceguard UK are awaiting a response from Sir Crispin Tickell’s
letter to the Prime Minister.  At least this one can’t be ignored as
thoroughly as previous attempts to jolt the government into action, but
who knows what the outcome will be?  Sir Crispin remarked in his letter
to me that “I am afraid that you are now on the back of a tiger, and
all I can say is that I hope that you enjoy it.” Certainly my employers
(the Ministry of Defence) are beginning to get distinctly nervous about
the amount of publicity that Spaceguard UK is getting at the moment. 
We must be achieving something!

“Deep Impact” (love it or hate it), and recent television coverage has
produced an increase in enquiries and statements of support from the
public. Anyone willing to listen is being encouraged to put pen to
paper, and to write to his or her local Member of Parliament.

An article linking “Deep Impact” to reality is due to appear in “Modern
Astronomer” magazine next month, and, if read by enough people, could
stir a few stalwart souls!

We were hoping to host Tom Gehrels for an evening in London in August,
but sadly he is now unable to stop over on his return trip from
India. Hopefully he will be able to visit this country sometime soon,
and I would be grateful for an indication of who might be interested in
listening to him speak when he does..

“Impact 4” should be ready for distribution to Spaceguard UK members in
a couple of weeks. If anyone has anything that they think might be
interesting to the lay readership, as well as the experts, please let
me know.  For anyone who is not yet a member – shame on you!  The
current Patrons, and Associate and Visiting membership are as follows:


Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Prof Sir Bernard Lovell
Patrick Moore
Sir Crispin Tickell

Associate Members

Mark Bailey
Mike Baillie
Sue Bowler
Victor Clube
Simon Clucas
Matthew Genge
Monica Grady
Simon Green
Peter Grego
John Gribbin
Nigel Holloway
David Hughes
Ian Lyon
Michael Martin-Smith
Robert Matthews
Tony Mc Donnell
Bill Napier
Benny Peiser
Paul Roche
Julian Salt
Robin Scagell
Oscar Schwiglhofer
Peter Snow
Duncan Steel
Emma Taylor
Jasper Wall
Iwan Williams
Jerry Workman
John Zarnecki

Visiting Members

Walter Alvarez
David Asher
David Balam
Peter Brown
Greg Canavan
Andrea Carusi
Tom Gehrels
Wynn Greene
Eleanor F. Helin
Lindley Johnson
Bob Kobres
David Levy
Alain Maury
Bill Mullen
Steven Ostro
Michael Rampino
Hans Rickman
Joel Schiff
Carolyn Shoemaker
Gerrit L. Verschuur
Pete Worden
Don Yeomans

As far as government action in the UK is concerned, it is unlikely that
anything will happen until the politicians detect a groundswell of
public opinion (meaning VOTES).  The only way to generate the necessary
groundswell is to spread the word, by any means possible, in an
accurate and "un-tabloid" fashion. That is what we are trying to do. 
Any assistance would be gratefully received.

Jay Tate


H.H. von Muldau: The hierarchy of traditional structures and the
interdisciplinarity of space science. ACTA ASTRONAUTICA, 1997, Vol.40,
No.2-8, pp.523-534


The occidental educational system of teaching is hierarchically
organized and divided in distinct relations for the different fields
of the science. The school administration as well as the
administration of the ministry of education use the common mechanisms
of transferring knowledge from the scientist, to the teacher, to the
student. It is mostly facts knowledge and the rules of the mechanisms
are dogmatically fixed. Space age includes the tremendous increase of
knowledge duplication. Lifelong learning does not obey the rules of
hierarchically organized classroom education. One of the results of
the traditional school system is the fact, that young people in the
preschool age are addicted to learning, but five years after the
experience of classrooms the majority have as result a 'I want to
know nothing' conduct. As the last public outreach of the IAF in OSLO
showed, the activity of young people and their articipation in
educational activities decrease between the 15th and 16th year of
life. In contrary the rare examples of project orientated earning,
f.e. at the 'Helene Lange School' in Wiesbaden, Germany, or at the
'Claremont McKenna College' in Claremont, CA USA, show, that the
interest for learning remains with no break while students reach the
universities. The paper discusses, how the experience of space
science an be used to motivate young people for learning. (C) 1997
International stronautical Federation. Published by Elsevier Science



Don Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC                         May 28, 1998
(Phone:  202/358-1547)

Bill Steigerwald
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
(Phone:  301/286-5017)

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
(Phone:  410/338-4514)

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers their
first direct look at what is possibly a planet outside our solar
system -- one apparently that has been ejected into deep space by
its parent stars.

The discovery, made by Susan Terebey of the Extrasolar
Research Corporation in Pasadena, CA, and her team using Hubble's
Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS),
further challenges conventional theories about the birth and
evolution of planets, and offers new insights into the formation
of our own Solar System.

Located in the sky within a star-forming region in the
constellation Taurus, the object, called TMR-1C, appears to lie at
the end of a strange filament of light that suggests it has
apparently been flung away from the vicinity of a newly forming
pair of binary stars.

At a distance of 450 light-years, the same distance as the
newly formed stars, the candidate protoplanet would be ten
thousand times less luminous than the Sun.  If the object is a few
hundred thousand years old, the same age as the newly formed star
system which appears to have ejected it, then it is estimated to
be 2-3 times the mass of Jupiter, the largest gas giant planet in
our Solar System.

Also possible is that the object is up to ten million years
old, the same age as other young stars nearby, in which case it
may be a giant protoplanet or a brown dwarf star.  A brown dwarf
star is a small star that has failed to sustain nuclear fusion.

The candidate protoplanet is now 130 billion miles from the
parent stars and predicted to be hurtling into interstellar space
at speeds up to 20,000 miles per hour (10 kilometers/sec) --
destined to forever drift among the Milky Way's starry population.

Hubble researchers estimate the odds at two percent that the
object is instead a chance background star.

"If the results are confirmed, this discovery could be
telling us gas giant planets are easy to build.  It seems unlikely
for us to happen to catch one flung out by the stars unless gas
giant planets are common in young binary systems," said Terebey.

"The results don't directly tell us about the presence of any
terrestrial planets, like Earth," she adds.  "However, we believe
gas giants do influence the formation of much smaller rocky planets."

Current models predict that very young giant planets are
still warm from gravitational contraction and formation processes. 
This makes them relatively bright in infrared light compared to
old giant planets such as Jupiter.  Even so, young planets are
difficult to find in new solar systems because the glare of the
central star drowns out their feeble glow.  Young planets ejected
from binary systems would therefore represent a unique opportunity
to study extrasolar planets with current astronomical technology.

The discovery also challenges conventional theories that
predict gas giant planets take millions of years to coagulate from
dust in space.  Instead, it favors more recent ideas that large,
low-density planets may condense out of gas very quickly, at the
same time their parent star does.

"This observation pushes back the clock on planet formation
and offers short time scales which allow us to see how things
form.  This provides valuable new clues to the origin of our Solar
System," says Terebey.

The candidate protoplanet was accidentally discovered by
Terebey and colleagues while studying Hubble infrared images of
newly formed protostars in a molecular cloud in Taurus.  The
exquisite sensitivity and sharpness of NICMOS clearly revealed the
object's pinpoint image.  However, it might have been dismissed as
a background star if not for the presence of a bizarre 130-
billion-mile-long filamentary structure that bridges the space
between the binary pair and the candidate protoplanet.

"I said to myself, 'This is really weird, what in the world
could it be?'" recalls Terebey.  She speculates it could be a
tunnel the runaway object burrowed through a dust cloud
surrounding the stars.  This created a "light tube" which channels
light from the stars deep inside their dusty cocoon - like a light
beam traveling through a length of fiber optic cable.

This brought Terebey to the tantalizing possibility that the
planet had been flung into deep space by a gravitational
"slingshot" effect from its parent stars.  This could have
happened if the planet's orbit allowed it to rob momentum from the
stars and pick up so much speed that it escaped the system,
similar to the way spacecraft perform gravitational "slingshot"
maneuvers to pick up speed by flying close by a planet.

"We know that many triple star systems eventually toss out
the lowest mass star.  And we can predict the speed at which the
object should be moving, based on the separation of the binary
stars," said Terebey.

Future observations call for images taken at a later date, to
confirm the object's predicted movement across the sky.  In
addition, the spectrum of the object will tell whether the object
is a background star, brown dwarf, or something whose spectrum is
less easy to predict, such as a giant protoplanet.

"We will just have to wait and see if future observations
confirm this picture," said Terebey.  "However it turns out, we
have come to appreciate that protoplanet ejection by young binary
stars ought to happen, and it offers a new way to search for giant

"These future observations will be critical in verifying that
this object is truly a planet and not a brown dwarf," said Dr. Ed
Weiler, Director of the Origins Program at NASA Headquarters,
Washington, DC.  "We are sharing this preliminary data with the
public at a very early stage in the research process because of
its potential importance and because of the compelling nature of
the image.  If the planet interpretation stands up to the careful
scrutiny of future observations, it could turn out to be the most
important discovery by Hubble in its 8 year history".

The members of the research team include Susan Terebey
(Extrasolar Research Corp.), Dave Van Buren, Deborah L. Padgett,
Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA (JPL), Terry Hancock (Extrasolar
Research Corp.),  and Michael Brundage, JPL.

The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA)
for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD.  The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of
international cooperation between NASA and the European Space
Agency (ESA).

                            - end -

NOTE TO EDITORS:  Images to accompany this release are available
to news media representatives by calling the Headquarters Imaging
Branch on 202/358-1900.

         NASA photo number:          Color:   98-HC-191    

Images and information about this discovery can also be found on
the Internet at:

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