CCNet DIGEST, 29 June 1998

     "New observations of England vs Columbia have allowed us to      
     refine the orbit of Michael Owen and Sol Campbell, two new      
     rapidly moving objects, which increase the likelihood that the    
     Peiser calculation may be more accurate than we realize"
     (Quote of the day by Gerrit Verschuur)

    Jim Bedient <>

    Bev M Ewen-Smith <>

    Bernd Pauli <>

(4) THERE'S OIL ON THEM ASTEROIDS (& 50 million six-packs of beer...)
    Duncan Steel <>

    Duncan Steel <>

    Paolo Farinella <>

    Bob Kobres <>

    Gene Milone <>


From Jim Bedient <>

June 28, 21h UT


A meteor outburst was first detected by Japanese observers on 9h UT
June 27th, from an increase of meteor rates by radio-forward meteor
scatter signals (K. Suzuki, M. Ueda: 3-5 times above normal rates),
with confirmation from visual observers. Raw rates of up to 50
meteors/hr were observed in the early evening (indirect reports via M.
Takanashi and M. Koseki - NMS). Italian observers Roberto Haver, Enrico
Stomeo and Roberto Gorelli (UAI- Sezione Meteore) observed the same
outburst between 21:20 June 27 and 01:30 UT June 28, with Zenith Hourly
Rates above 100. The shower was also reported from Portugal, where
astronomer Derek Penn counted 27 outburst meteors in 15 minutes. The
sighting is confirmed from California, where observers noticed the
meteors on June 28 around 5h UT.

This shower ** may still be detectable ** in the night of June 28/29
and later and further observations should be attempted by both
professional and amateur observers. Of special interest is any
low-level activity that continues for some time. Please inform the
usual channels of your observations.

The radiant has been placed near RA=224o, DEC=+50o by the Italian
observers and others agree with this general location. The shower is
visible throughout the night, and highest in the early evening hours.
The Moon will be hardly interfering, except perhaps in the first
hour(s) of the night.

Radiant and time of year suggest that this is another manifestation of
the June Bootids, which were detected by W.F. Denning in 1916. However,
that event has been associated with comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke and the
comet now has a decending node at 1.26 AU from the Sun, while the
minimum distance between Earth and comet orbit during passage of the
orbital plane is on June 25.15 (UT) at 0.244 AU. An unlikely large
distance for meteor outburst activity, as was pointed out by Peter Bus

An alert has gone out also on IAU Circular 6954 (June 27).  

The following have expressed an interest in any information on this
event (please inform us if this list be extended):

E. Stomeo, Unione Astrofili Italiani - Sezione Meteore (
      CP 654 - Venezia 30100, Italy
P. Jenniskens/NASA-ARC (
      Mail Stop 239-4 Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000, USA

Peter Jenniskens
President IAU C-22 Pro-Amat Working Group


From Bev M Ewen-Smith <>

From southern Portugal.

Saturday night 1998 June 27. 21:30 - 00:30

We were doing routine observations under a clear dark sky and became
aware of a high level of meteor activity.  One of the astronomers
(Derek Penn) spent half an hour counting (single observer, limited
field of view due trees) and counted 27 in fifteen minutes.  There were
so many (and many bright ones) that there were frequently two at once
(or seemed so). The frequency made it a simple matter to identify the
radiant as being at the top end of Bootes (furthest from Arcturus) or
perhaps a tiny bit on the Corona B side or the eta-Uma side of that
point.  Certainly, they far, far outnumbered sporadics, if that gives a
measure.  The level began high as soon as it got dark and was still
performing splendidly when we packed up a little after 1 am local time.

Unfortunately, nobody had the wit to suggest photographing the area of
the radiant to clinch it.  Perhaps we'll try again tonight if it's
still going.

Certainly a very fine display indeed and at least comparable to the
special Perseids of a few years ago.


                          Bev M Ewen-Smith   -   C O A A
Centro de Observacao Astronomica no Algarve, Poio, 8500 Portimao, Portugal
     <><                  N 37 11 29.1  W 008 35 57.1             <><
Tel:082 471180 Intl:00 351 82 471180  Fax:082 471516 Intl:00 351 82 471516         WWW


From Bernd Pauli <>

OBERST J. (1989) Possible relationship between the Farmington meteorite
and a seismically detected swarm of meteoroids impacting the Moon
(Meteoritics 24-1, 1989, pp. 23-28):

Abstract - The Farmington ordinary L5 chondrite with its uniquely short
cosmic-ray exposure age of less than 25 000 years may have been a
member of a large meteoroid swarm which was  detected by the Apollo
seismic network when it encountered the Moon in June 1975. The
association implies that the parent body of the Farmington meteorite
was in an Earth-crossing orbit at the time the swarm was formed.  This
supports the idea that at least some meteorites are derived from the
observable population of Earth-crossing asteroids.

Geocentric radiant of the Farmington meteorite / Geocentric radiants,
all in degree

Event - Encounter time - Right ascension - Declination - Ecliptic
longitude - Reference

Farmington - June 25, 1890 - 87 (88,88,89) /    2 (6, 8, 9) - 86
(88,88,89) - Levin et al. (1976)
Farmington - June 25, 1890 - 81 (83,84,84) /- 18 (-11,-8,-7) - 79
(82,83,84) - Sekanina (1983)

Oberst computed the geocentric radiants for a range of possible
atmospheric entry speeds of 13 km/s and, in brackets, 16, 19, and 22
km/s, suggested for the Farmington meteorite (Levin et al., 1976).


The fall time, the radiant and the exceptionally young cosmic-ray
exposure age of Farmington suggest that this meteorite was a member of
the large meteoroid swarm that was detected by the lunar seismic
network in June 1975. While the possibility that the Tunguska object
was another member of this swarm deserves further investigation, the
previously suggested associations of the lunar impacts with the Taurid
meteor complex and comet Encke or the postulated lunar impact event of 
1178 appear unlikely. This suggested association implies that the
orbits of Farmington and the other swarm members experienced very
little perturbation after their separation from their parent body or
after the parent body disrupted. Thus, it is most likely that the
parent body was in an Earth-crossing orbit at the time the swarm
formed. This further supports the idea that some of the meteorites in
our collections are derived from the observable population of 
A p o l l o  and  A m o r  objects (Levin et al., 1976;Wetherill.
1976). If asteroid surveys can locate other large fragments or even the
parent body in the orbit of the Farmington meteorite, this would
provide an interesting link between laboratory studies of meteorites
and the astronomical studies of minor planets in the solar system,
their presumed parent bodies. If such an object can be found and can be
studied, it would be important to verify that its reflectance spectrum
is identical to the laboratory spectrum of Farmington. Perhaps, close
examination of the object could provide clues to some of the unresolved
mysteries involving the origin of ordinary chondrites, the origin of
Earth-crossing asteroids and the role of these asteroids for the
delivery of meteorites to Earth. Certain Earth-approaching asteroids
indeed show reflectance spectra similar to those of ordinary chondrites
in laboratories (McFadden et al., 1985).  However, why don't we see any
such asteroids in the main belt, the suggested source location of this
meteorite class?

Some more pertinent references:

BUSECK P.R., MASON B. and WIIK H.B. (1966) The Farmington meteorite
(Mineralogy and chemistry (GCA 30, 1-8).

DE FELICE J., FAZIO G.G. and FIREMAN E.L. (1963) Cosmic-ray exposure
age of the Farmington meteorite from radioactive isotopes (Science 142,

GALIBINA I.V., SIMONENKO A.N. and LEVIN B.Y. (1979) The last parent
body of the Farmington meteorite remains undiscovered (Sov. Astron. 
Lett. 5, 223-225).

Best wishes, Bernd

(4) THERE'S OIL ON THEM ASTEROIDS (& 50 million six-packs of beer...)

From Duncan Steel <>

Dear Benny,

I expect that when it is released (premier tomorrow), the movie 
'Armageddon' will provoke a storm of messages regarding its scientific
veracity. I'm getting in first with a tongue-in-cheek examination of
the appropriateness (or otherwise) of sending oilmen to tackle it.

If the behemoth rock were a rocky (or even metallic) asteroid derived
from the main belt, then one might expect it to have a coating of
reddish material. Going outwards in the solar system, there is an
increasing tendency for the surfaces of small interplanetary bodies to
be dark and red (e.g., see Owen et al., Advances in Space Research, 16,
41, 1995), and the outermost main belt asteroids are redder than the
innermost. This material is believed by many to be heavy
organics/hydrocarbons. I would interpret this trend as being due to
there being a larger fraction of organic content in small meteoroids
and dust at larger heliocentric distances, and the lower impact speeds
onto asteroids at those distances make survival of those organics more
likely.  The dark red coloration therefore would represent a surface
layer, hence my statement in the first sentence of this paragraph.

[As an aside I note that the asymmetry in albedo and colour of the
leading/trailing hemispheres of the tidally-locked Saturnian moon
Iapetus, noted by Cassini but made famous by Arthur C. Clarke through
'2001: A Space Odyssey', has been suggested as originating in this way,
although an alternative suggestion has been the accumulation of debris
from the exterior retrograde moon Phoebe.]

On the other hand, if the offending asteroid were actually an extinct
or moribund cometary nucleus, then again a surface layer of heavy
organics/hydrocarbons might be anticipated.  Under solar heating the
surface loses its more volatile component, leaving behind silicates and
the refractory-volatiles (kerogens etc.) which may form a temporary
insulating crust (as did 4015 Wilson-Harrington in 1949?) which might
later be broken (as happened to 2P/Encke in 1786?) in the case of a
dormant comet, or a totally-devolatilized core in the case of an
extinct comet (various candidates amongst the known Earth-crossing

There are three possibilities then:

(1) Main-belt derived asteroid:
    Hydrocarbons on the surface, rock or metal below

(2) Dormant comet:
    Hydrocarbons on the surface, ices below including water and
    solidified natural gas (methane, ethane, propane, butane...).

(3) Extinct comet:
    Hydrocarbons on the surface, but gross composition is

From the perspective of the oilman, in none of the three cases is there
anything to gain from drilling into the object.  The hydrocarbons are
on the surface. Just scoop them up.

There is an exception from the oilman's perspective, however. Imagine 
that the object is a dormant cometary core just 2 km in size (far from 
the size of Texas). Amongst the organic chemicals which one would
expect to be present in a cometary core is ethanol.  If the core
contains one part in a million by mass of ethanol, then there's as much
alcohol as in 50 million six-packs of beer.  Ready-chilled, too.


Duncan Steel


From Duncan Steel <>

Dear Benny,

I was pleased to see Colin Keay's statement regarding his important
work in elucidating the reality and origin of electrophonic sounds
produced by bright fireballs. In his modesty, he did not mention his
recent review on this subject:

C.S.L. Keay, 'Continued progress in electrophonic fireball investigations',
Earth, Moon & Planets, 68, 361-368 (1995).

This I mention because it might be of particular interest to readers of
the CC Digest; the final sentence of his abstract reads:

"Geophysical electrophonic phenomena may explain many baffling reports
from ancient historical writings."

Note also that the ancients might have been more likely to have heard
electrophonic phenomena (independent of the occurrence rate) because
they tended to have longer hair and wear headgear, although their lack
of spectacles would have had a negative effect! I jest not: Keay has
shown that having opportunistic transducers around the head greatly
enhances the likelihood of hearing electrophonic sounds.  I have myself
interviewed a policeman (hence short hair) who heard an electrophonic
fireball whilst his colleague stood a few metres away did not,
apparently because the former was wearing a helmet whilst the latter
was hat-less.


Duncan Steel


From Paolo Farinella <>

Dear colleagues,

you can find a ps file for the paper "Dynamics of Eros", by P. Michel,
Ch. Froeschle' and myself, accepted for publication by the AJ, on my
website at:

It's a fairly big file, so if you have problems in downloading it let
me know and we will send you a hard copy. Best regards,



From Bob Kobres <>



Dust Aerosols, Loess, and Global Change

Battelle Conference Center, Seattle, Washington, October 8–13, 1998

An interdisciplinary conference and field tour on dust in ancient
environments and contemporary environmental management will comprise a
field tour, October 8–11, 1998, and a conference, October 11–13, 1998.

Preconference field tour. A three-day excursion will traverse the
dryland farming region of the Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington;
explore the Palouse loess deposits; and cross the famous Channeled
Scabland, site of the largest glacial outburst floods in earth history.
Dual themes will be: (1) intensively instrumented wind erosion research
sites, and (2) classic exposures of the Palouse loess, paleosols,
cycles of dust deposition. A winery tour and tasting will be included.

Conference. Quaternary geologists, soil scientists, agricultural
engineers, agronomists, air quality specialists, environmental
scientists, climatologists and paleoclimatologists, and land managers,
as well as students in agriculture, environmental sciences, and
geology, will find this event of interest. Proposed conference topics
include Climatic events and other drivers of loess depositional cycles
during the Quaternary Period

Comparisons of modern and ancient dust transport and deposition in
mid-latitude areas

Dustfall magnitude into ice-age oceans and wind trajectories
Sub-Milankovitch millennium- and century-scale dust events and their
linkages and causes

Possible role of dust aerosols as a feedback in last-glacial climate
change Natural and anthropogenic sources, transport mechanisms, and
deposition of dust aerosols today and impacts on urban air quality,
human health, and the global environment

Measurement, prediction, transport modeling, and control of wind
erosion from agricul-tural and natural areas

For further information, please contact:
Alan Busacca
Crop and Soil Sciences, Geology
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6420
Telephone: (509) 335-1859
Web page:
Fax: (509) 335-8674

Copyright  1998 by the University of Washington. All rights of
reproduction in any form reserved.


From Gene Milone <>

Benny, did you know that 'Pannenberg' means 'blow-out mountain'?
'Tipler' would seem to be a fine name associated with 'wine',
unfortunately, I do not have my Luther bible here in the office to
check the phrase he attributes to Luther from Exodus, but I think that
there is probably a more apt phrase corresponding to 'I am that I am'.
More likely than 'Wein' for instance, would be 'Wien', although the
translation would then be more likely to come from Johann Strauss,
many have commented on the divine nature of Vienna...

Regards, - gene

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