(meteorobs) Excerpts from "CCNet 13/2002 - 23 January 2002"

------- Forwarded Message

From: Peiser Benny <B.J.Peiser@livjm.acdot uk>
To: cambridge-conference <cambridge-conference@livjm.acdot uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 09:59:28 -0000

 CCNet 13/2002 - 23 January 2002


    Slaven Garaj <slaven.garaj@epfl.ch>

    Charles Cockell <csco@bas.acdot uk>

    Daniel Fischer <dfischer@astro.uni-bonndot de>

    Reiner M. Stoss <rstoss@hrz1.hrz.tu-darmstadtdot de>

    Ron Baalke <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasadot gov>

    The Daily Mountain Eagle, 21 January 2002 



>From Slaven Garaj <slaven.garaj@epfl.ch>

Dear Benny and colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to a recent article from our group,
entitled: "Instrumental recording of electrophonic sounds from Leonid
fireballs", by G. Zgrablic et al. The article considers the phenomenon of
the electrophonic meteors and it will appear in the Journal of
Geophysical Research. 
The electrophonic sounds, which are heard simultaneously with an appearance
of a bright meteor, are a longstanding astronomic mystery. This is the
contra-intuitive phenomenon: normal sounds from a meteor should lag behind
the meteor couple of minutes, due to relatively small velocity of sounds. A
full evaluation of the electrophonic phenomenon was undermined by the lack
of instrumental recordings - only witness reports existed. 

In the article, we present the first instrumental recording of the
electrophonic sounds detected during the ILWC expedition to Mongolia. We
demonstrate that physical characteristics of electrophones from Leonid
meteors cannot be explained satisfactory in the framework of the
existing theories. In addition, it is suggested that the coupling of meteors
to atmospheric charge dynamics and ionosphere is much stronger than
previously expected. This can have more general implications, beyond the
electrophonic phenomenon. 
Preprint of the article and additional information, pictures and videos can
be accessed at the project's web page: http://fizika.org/ilwcro/results/
In addition, I would like to direct you to the project "Global Electrophonic
Fireball Survey", coordinated by D. Vinkovic from Univ. of Kentucky. The aim
of the project is to collect witness reports of the electrophonic sounds. If
you experienced electrophonic phenomena, please fill up the on-line form and
make an important contribution to the understanding of this effect. Web
address: http://gefs.ccsdot ukydot edu/

Slaven Garaj
ILWC coordinator

Institute of Nuclear Engineering (IGA)
Department of Physics
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel.: +41 (21) 693 4337
Fax: +41 (21) 693 4461
e-mail: slaven.garaj@epfl.ch
homepage: http://nanotubes.epfl.ch/garaj/


>From Charles Cockell <csco@bas.acdot uk>

Expeditions or field work with a theme that links Earth and space may be
able to get some support from the Twenty-one Eleven Foundation. 

Founded in 1994, the Foundation has been awarding grants to expeditions
since 1995. The deadline for grant applications is March 31st and the
Foundation usually gives five  grants of $500 each year to expeditions that
work at the interface between space and environmental sciences. The
Foundation is seeking to expand its grants proramme, but currently, because
grants are modest, it prefers to fund small expeditions for whom the
contribution can make a difference rather than large projects.

Charles Cockell, who established the UK-based charity said 'The Foundation
was established to do something active in supporting expeditions and
fieldwork that link space exploration and earth exploration. Some
environmentalists tend to view space exploration as a waste of money because
we should be sorting out problems on Earth and those supporting space
exploration sometimes regard environmentalists as a thorn in the side.
However, many environmental projects depend upon data made available from
space, particularly satellite data. Many proposals for the exploration of
space use data on, for example, microbes in extreme environments on Earth.
The preservation of Earth and the exploration of space are two mutually
inclusive goals. They are two prongs in a long-term strategy. The Foundation
seeks to do its bit to support the development of this philosophy by funding
expeditions that link Earth and space exploration'.

Since 1995 the Foundation has helped fund over 20 projects including an
expedition to use satellite imagery to map endangered African wildlife
reserves, an expedition to study micro-organisms in snow and ice as a
possible exobiological habitat and a study on the Mir space station to study
the response of enclosed miniature ecosystems to microgravity, among others.

The Twenty-one Eleven Foundation web site is at www.2111.org

Dr. Charles Cockell,
British Antarctic Survey,
High Cross,
Madingley Road,

Tel : + 44 1223 221560
e-mail : csco@bas.acdot uk



>From Daniel Fischer <dfischer@astro.uni-bonndot de>

Dear Benny,

in the latest issue of the ESA Bulletin, number 108, there is a long review
of asteroidal reasearch performed with the ISO satellite. Quoting from the
abstract, "ISO has delivered a wealth of new and unexpected results
concerning asteroids, but the archive still has many hidden treasures." This
magazine is available FOR FREE from the ESA Publications Division, ESTEC,
P.O.Box 299, NL-2200AG Noordwijk, the Netherlands.



>From Reiner M. Stoss <rstoss@hrz1.hrz.tu-darmstadtdot de>

The "Meeting on Asteroids and Comets in Europe", MACE 2002, will be held
from May 17th to 19th at the Visnjan Observatory in Croatia. The goals of
the meeting are:

To connect observers over borders and language barriers.
To improve the technology and techniques of observing.
To search for goals of small observatories in the future.
To support joint programmes

The Scientific and Local Organizing Committee has proposed the following
tentative programme:

17.05.2002 Friday
 - arrival at Visnjan
 - accommodation
 - 19:30 official opening and welcome dinner
 - 21:30 poster placing/presentation and welcome reception

18.05.2002 Saturday
 - 08:30 breakfast
 - 09:30 talks/presentations start
 - 10:30 coffee break
 - 11:00 talks  
 - 13:00 lunch
 - 14:30 excursion - visit to the Spacegurd-HR telescope site
 - 16:00 visit the "vine roads of Visnjan vineyard"
 - 19:30 dinner
 - 20:30 round tables on topics of common interest

19.05.2002 Sunday
 - 08:30 breakfast
 - 09:30 excursion to the city of Pula (historic K&K KM Pola observatory)
 - 13:30 lunch
 - 14:30 talks
 - 16:00 coffee break
 - 16:30 talks  
 - 19:00 dinner - official end of the meeting
 - 21:00 unofficial part, round tables/local vine degustation

20.05.2002 Monday
 - excursions (Farra observatory, Crni vrh observatory, Postojna cave)
 - Istra peninsula (Porec, Lim, Rovinj, Motovun, ....)
 - other ?

The scientific programme will include invited and contributed talks on the
most recent advances in telescope design, observing methods and future
projects for small observatories. The contribution will range from
presentation of various observatories to specific projects and scientific
results. Participants who wish to contribute either with a talk or with a
poster presentation are kindly requested to send an abstract before April
30th to: <andreic@rudjer.irb.hr> Abstracts received after this date can not
be considered for oral
presentation and can be accepted just for poster presentation. All accepted
contributions will be published in the proceedings in printed and electronic

An exhibition of posters presenting various observatories/projects will be
organized. The poster panels are 120 cm in height and 70 cm in width.
Posters will stay on display for the entire duration of the meeting.

A registration fee of 50-80 EUR per participant (will be announced until
April 30th) is payable on arrival. The charge for registration includes the
opening dinner at Friday, lunches and dinner during the conference (Saturday
and Sunday), coffee breaks, and half-day excursion to the City of Pula.

Limited financial support (in the form of grants for the registration fee)
will be provided for participants in need of such support. Participants who
are in need of financial support are invited to contact the Meeting Office
by the end of April.

The programme includes a welcoming dinner on Friday 17th May at 19:30
Excursions to the nearby location of the future "Spaceguard-HR telescope"
and visit to the Visnjan vineyard road in the afternoon of 18th of May. A
half-day excursion is scheduled in the morning of Sunday 19th May to visit
the remnants of the old navy observatory in Pula from which Johann Palisa
visually found 28 asteroids. Round tables and "degustations" in various
occasions. Optional tours will be organized to various locations on the
Istra peninsula and vicinity and are planned for Monday, May 20th, if a
minimum number of participants will join.

MACE 2002 will be held at the Visnjan Observatory, Croatia. Visnjan is a
small, picturesque, medieval town situated on the west rim of the Istria
peninsulas highlands. Visnjan is near to the city of Porec, a famous tourist
center on the Adriatic Sea. Near are also all the cultural and naturalistic
places of the Istra peninsula.

For air connection Trieste International Airport is commonly used, which is
approx. 70 km north-west from Visnjan, or the airport of Venice ~200 km
westward. There is a regular bus from Trieste to Visnjan, but for meeting
participants a special transport can be organized in contact with the
Meeting Office. Train and bus connections are available from the all over
Europe. The best way to come from central Europe is by car :o)

For 40 participants a free of charge accommodation in the spartan (4-8 bed)
students dormitories will be available in contact with the meeting office.
Private accommodation and hotels in the nearby cities, of different
categories (15-80 EUR/night) will be available for meeting participants.
Some of the free of charge dormitories will be given to participants which
apply for grants. The rest will be given on a first come first serve basis.

No visa is required for the participants from the European Union and many
other countries, but there exist some excemptions for a few east European
countries. In the case you need a visa please contact the Meeting Office and
the nearest Croatian Embassy or Consulate to arrange it.

Temperatures in mid May are usually around 220C with sensible difference
between night and day.

Visnjan Observatory
Istarska 5, HR-52463 
Visnjan, Croatia 
Tel: +385 52 449 212
Fax: +385 52 449 212
rstoss@hrz1.hrz.tu-darmstadtdot de

Luciano Bittesini (Farra d'Isonzo Observatory) Italy 
Korado Korlevic (Visnjan Observatory) Croatia
Jaime Nomen (Ametlla de Mar Observatory) Spain
Petr Pravec (Ondrejov Observatory) Czech Republic
Herbert Raab (Linz Observatory) Austria
Jure Skvarc (Crni Vrh Observatory) Slovenia
Stefano Sposetti (Gnosca Observatory) Switzerland
Reiner Stoss (Starkenburg Observatory) Germany
Juraj Toth (Modra Observatory) Slovakia
Zeljko Andreic (Rudjer Boskovic Institute) Croatia

For additional information please visit the MACE 2002 website at:

Thank you very much for your attention and see you in Visnjan.

Yours sincerely,
Korado Korlevic
on behalf of the SOC and LOC


>From Ron Baalke <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasadot gov>

Astronomical Society of the Pacific
390 Ashton Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94112
(415) 337-1100

Media contact: Robert Naeye, Editor, Mercury magazine
    (415) 869-2913

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              January 22, 2002


The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), in conjunction with the
Astronomical League (AL), is conducting a web-based survey of amateur
astronomers who do, or want to do, public outreach activities of any kind.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the survey will help the ASP and
AL make informed decisions about what kinds of materials or activities might
help amateurs do more and better outreach. The survey is part of an NSF
planning grant called Amateur Astronomers as Outreach Ambassadors.

"We know that most amateur astronomers concentrate on observing. But many
amateurs express their enjoyment of astronomy by helping others enjoy the
universe through public star parties, school visits, talks to youth and
community groups, and other activities," says ASP Executive Director Mike
Bennett, principal investigator for the survey. "We want to hear from any
amateur astronomer who has ever done outreach, or who thinks he or she might
want to. Eventually, this will lead to improved products and services to
help amateur astronomers improve the quality and quantity of their public
outreach efforts."

"Hundreds of amateur astronomers in the United States have conducted public
outreach to schools, scout groups, churches, and other organizations. Most
have never had the benefit of having anyone help them put together a
presentation package for outreach activities. The ASP's project will help us
provide such assistance," says Barry Beaman, past President of the AL and
current AL liaison to the ASP. "My great hope is that this assistance will
help not only those already pursuing public outreach, but encourage many
others to go out and tell the public about our wonderful universe. The
Astronomical League is very pleased to be a part of this important project."

The survey is available through the ASP's website at


It should take about 10 minutes to complete. The ASP expects to make 
the results of the survey available by late 2002.

The non-profit Astronomical Society of the Pacific was founded in 1889 in
San Francisco, and is still headquartered there today. The ASP has since
grown into an international society. Its membership is spread over all 50
states and 70 countries and includes professional and amateur
astronomers, science educators of all levels, and people in the general
public. The ASP publishes the bimonthly Mercury magazine for its members, a
technical journal for professional astronomers, and an on-line teachers'
newsletter. The ASP also coordinates Project ASTRO, a national astronomy
education program. The Society produces a catalog of extensive
astronomy-related products for educators and the public.

The Astronomical League (www.astroleague.org/) is a non-profit federation of
more than 250 local astronomy societies across the United States. These
organizations, along with Members-at-Large, Patrons, and Supporting members,
form the largest amateur astronomical organization in the world. The AL's
basic goals are to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially
amateur astronomy), and to promote astronomy education and astronomical
research throughout the United States. The AL publishes a quarterly
newsletter called The Reflector.

FROM THE MINOR PLANET MAILING LIST [date]. For the full text or to
subscribe, please visit:
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MPML FAQ: http://www.bitnik.com/mp/MPML-FAQ.html
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>From The Daily Mountain Eagle, 21 January 2002 

New state license plate sprinkled with stars, music notes 


Every five years Alabama vehicle tags are redesigned and Alabama's newest
license plate has stars and music notes sprinkled all across the top
surrounding a slogan "Stars Fell On" with Alabama written across the bottom.

The new tags were created by a graphic artist in Gov. Don Siegelman's
office. But the slogan on the tag has been a large part of Alabama history
for many years.

The slogan was actually an inspiration from the song "Stars Fell On
Alabama," which was written in the 1930s by Mitchell Parish and Frank
Perkins and was sung by Jimmy Buffet at Siegelman's January 1999
inauguration .

The slogan is also the title of a book written in 1934 by Carl Carmer. When
Carmer's book was first published, it was touted as a book of folk ways and
was both celebrated and scorned for its portrayal of racial violence.

Even the Alabama State Department of Tourism has used the slogan in
promoting Alabama. But not many Alabamians could actually tell you how the
slogan came into being in the first place.

It all began on a November night in 1833. On November 12-13 a spectacular
meteor shower could be seen in the skies across the Southeast. The shower
created so much excitement across Alabama that the event became known as
"the night stars fell on Alabama."

But that's not the only night 'stars fell on Alabama.'

There is proof that the stars literally fell on Alabama on two different
occasions in 1954.

The first incident took place on November 30, 1954, when Ann Hodges of
Sylacauga became the first human ever recorded to be struck and injured by a

This 'falling star' weighed eight and one-half pounds and landed on Hodges
as she rested on her living room couch. She suffered severe bruising to her
hip, but she also gained instant celebrity status because her 'falling star'
is now housed in the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Tuscaloosa.

The second incident might not be as famous as Hodges', but as Clarence
"Dick" Watkins of Sumiton will assure you, it'll have folks stopping and
listening for a while.

Watkins said that in July of 1954 another 'star' fell to earth and he has
the piece to prove it.

"My wife, Helen, and I were sitting on the front porch of a friend's house
over here on the top of the hill on Coon Creek Road when it happened,"
Watkins said. "We were just enjoying the summer evening, when all of a
sudden we saw this bright white light streaking from the sky.

"It came down and when it got about 1/2 mile high it just exploded and
rained fire down all over the mountain. I had heard of shooting stars, so I
thought that's what it was. I was 23 years old at the time, but I still
remember that night just like it was yesterday."

But it took Watkins, who is now 70, almost 50 years to go over on the
mountain top in the area where the meteorite landed.

About two years ago, he ventured there in search of his 'falling star' and
now he can say he literally owns a piece of Alabama history.

"I knew it was there all the time, but I just kept putting off going over
there," Watkins said. "There's still a lot of the meteorite scattered over
the mountain top.

"Some of the pieces are small, some are real big. The piece I have is about
six inches in diameter. The fellow who went with me has a piece four times
bigger than mine."

Watkins said he could tell how hard the meteorite hit the earth when it
fell, because the piece he has was buried about half way in the ground when
he found it.

"When you see it you automatically know what it is, because you've seen
pictures of meteorites in books and on TV," he said, "and it's not like
anything you see in this area. A lot of people have commented on how it
looks and how heavy it is."

Watkins gets to tell his story about the night he saw stars falling on
Alabama quite a lot because, even though they've heard it many times, one of
his buddies at one of his favorite hangouts, T.J.'s Grocery near Sipsey and
the Mulberry Fork boat landing near the store, will get him to tell it over
and over again when they spot a stranger.

Now he'll have a new car tag to go along with his story and his piece of a
'falling star.'

COPYRIGHT . 2002 Daily Mountain Eagle

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