Saturday30 October 20044:38pm MDT2004-10-30 UTC 2238 last
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News briefs

Meteor news:  A brief item at WPVI-TV Philadelphia October 28th reports a “fireball in the sky” videotaped “Saturday afternoon” (the 23rd?) and claims that “NASA says the fireball was probably space junk re-entering the earth's atmosphere,” without specifying what junk or what source at NASA. From the single frame shown, this appears likely to have been an aircraft contrail.

The New Mexico Los Alamos Monitor reported yesterday that Roy Michael Moore had been living in a cave on restricted Department of Energy land until found this month and arrested on drug charges. Moore's patently false “Frass Mars meteorite,” and his and others claims on the Web of NASA and scientific cover-up, have been irksome to the meteorite community. About that, the article says “he recanted his discovery” in 2001, but “recounted” seems contextually to have been the intended word.

Pluto news:  An unusual convergence of issues, on whether Pluto is a planet or trans-Neptunian object and whether rap “music” is

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News will appear on an irregular basis from tomorrow, 31 October, through Tuesday or Wednesday. It's anticipated that the weekly small objects report will appear after midnight UTC Sunday.

music, brings a news item from Drexel University. Staff at the student newspaper, The Triangle, posted a recommendation yesterday for “Supermercado!” by the 2 Skinnee J's, described as “a sort of rap group for nerds.” It is reported that this album (quoting exactly) “is famous for Pluto, An audio epic about the cruelty of scientists trying to get the planet Pluto reclassified as a Trans-solar Object due to it's tiny size.”

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Observatory news:  The University at California has a news item from yesterday about moving a radio telescope farm hundreds of miles from northern to central California. Nine 6.1m antennas from the old Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Array (BIMA) at Hat Creek are being merged with six 10.4m dishes moved from the closer Owens Valley Radio Observatory to create the new Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) at Cedar Flat, a site more suited than the originals for observing at one and three millimeters. Among science objectives is observing comets to “search for the complex variety of proteins and amino acids which hold clues to our origins.” See also April news and a report on millimeter and sub-millimeter minor object astronomy.

Hat Creek will now become home to the huge Allen Telescope Array designed to observe at two to fifty centimeters for both astronomy and a persistent deep search for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.

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