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Спец.выпуск N5 (октябрь, 1999).

 NASA SELECTS MISSIONS TO SEARCH FOR PLANETARY SYSTEMS AND OBSERVE COSMIC EXPLOSIONS

Donald Savage          
Headquarters, Washington, DC                                                            Oct. 14, 1999
(Phone: 202/358-1547)

    Spacecraft that will search for planetary systems around 40 million stars and observe the largest explosions in the universe have been chosen as the next two missions in NASA's medium-class Explorer (MIDEX) program.
    "In my 21 years at NASA, this is the most difficult selection that I have had to make," said Dr. Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator for Space Science, NASA Headquarters. "The number of first-class concepts being submitted to NASA by the space science community for these smaller missions just keeps on climbing."
    The first mission, to be launched in 2003, is the Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer, a three-telescope space observatory for studying gamma ray bursts. Although gamma ray bursts are the largest known explosions in the universe, outshining the rest of the universe when they explode unpredictably in distant galaxies, the underlying cause of the explosion is a true mystery of astrophysics. Swift will have the unique ability to rotate in orbit and point its gamma ray telescope, X-ray telescope, and ultraviolet/optical telescope at gamma ray bursts within minutes of the burst's first appearance. Since gamma ray bursts are believed to originate billions of light years away, Swift will use these sources as beacons to probe distant regions of the universe.
    During its three-year mission, Swift will also survey the sky for new black holes and other sources of cosmic gamma rays. Swift will be led by Dr. Neil Gehrels of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, at a total mission cost to NASA of $163 million.
    The second mission, to be launched in 2004, is the Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME), a space telescope designed to obtain highly precise position and brightness measurements of 40 million stars. This rich database will allow astronomers to accurately determine the distance to all of the stars on this side of the Milky Way galaxy, detect large planets and planetary systems around stars within 1,000 light years of the Sun, and measure the amount of dark matter in the galaxy from its influence on stellar motions.
    This 30-fold improvement in accuracy over previous position- measuring spacecraft will establish a new standard for measuring distances in astronomy and help resolve questions about the size and age of the universe. FAME's five-year mission will be led by Dr. Kenneth J. Johnston of the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, DC, at a total mission cost to NASA of $162 million.
    "MIDEX missions not only return first-class science results, they continue NASA's trend toward greatly lowered mission costs via innovative mission planning and operations," Weiler added. "For example, FAME utilizes a solar sail instead of thrusters to provide the propulsive force needed to re-orient itself to scan the entire sky, and Swift uses its own on-board artificial intelligence software to point itself at new targets faster than human controllers ever could."
    The selection of these missions is the second step of a two- step process. In the first step, NASA selected five proposals in January 1999 for detailed four-month feasibility studies. Funded by NASA at $350,000 each, these studies focused on cost, management, and technical plans, including small business involvement and educational outreach.
    The first two MIDEX missions, selected in 1996, are the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) and the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP). IMAGE will be launched in the winter of 2000 to study the global response of the Earth's magnetosphere to changes in the solar wind. MAP will be launched in November 2000 to probe conditions in the early universe by measuring the properties of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the full sky.
    The selected proposals were among 31 full proposals originally submitted to NASA in August 1998 in response to an Explorer Program Announcement of Opportunity issued in March 1998. The Explorer Program is designed to provide frequent, low-cost access to space for physics and astronomy missions with small to mid-sized spacecraft. The Explorer Program is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, for the Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

    Information and artist's concepts of these missions are available at:
http://swift.gsfc.nasa.gov
http://www.usno.navy.mil/fame/


Richard Cole, Space Research Centre, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy,
Leicester University, University Rd., Leicester, LE1 7RH, U.K.
Web Page: http://www.src.le.ac.uk/
E-mail: rec@star.le.ac.u
Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 3597
Fax: +44 (0) 116 252 2464


    "ДЖОРДАНО БРУНО И СОВРЕМЕННОСТЬ
(Первое информационное сообщение)

Уважаемые коллеги!
     17 февраля 2000 года исполняется 400 лет со дня гибели выдающегося итальянского ученого и философа Джордано Бруно, одного из основоположников космологии нового времени. К этой дате приурочена научная конференция "Джордано Бруно и современность", которую с 1 по 3 февраля организуют на базе ГАИШ МГУ Астрономическое Общество, Институт философии РАН, НКЦ SETI и ГАИШ.
     Программа конференции включает следующие направления:
- Дж. Бруно и научная революция 16-17 веков.
- Дж. Бруно и современная астрономия.
- Дж. Бруно и проблема поиска внеземных цивилизаций.
- Дж. Бруно и современная культура.
     Предполагается проведение круглого стола "Статус науки в эпоху Бруно и в современном обществе".
     Рабочий язык конференции - русский.
     Предполагаемое число участников - до 100 человек.
     Программный оргкомитет конференции:
Н.Г.Бочкарев (ГАИШ МГУ, Астрономическое общество), И.А.Герасимов (ГАИШ МГУ), Л.М.Гиндилис (ГАИШ МГУ, НКЦ SETI), Ю.Н.Ефремов (ГАИШ МГУ), В.В. Казютинский (ИФ РАН, зам.пред.), Н.С.Кардашев (АКЦ ФИАН, НСА), Ю.Л.Менцин (ГАИШ МГУ), Ф.А.Цицин (ГАИШ МГУ), В.М.Чепурова (ГАИШ МГУ, уч.секретарь), А.М.Черепащук (ГАИШ МГУ, председатель), Е.К.Шеффер (ГАИШ МГУ)
     Местный оргкомитет:
И.А.Герасимов (председатель), О.В.Александрова (секретарь), А.И.Еремеева, Н.И.Колеснов, Ю.Л.Менцин (зам.пред.), Е.К.Шеффер, В.Л.Штаерман В.М.Юдин.
     Заявки на участие в конференции просим направлять до 1 декабря 1999 г. В.М.Чепуровой
- по почте: 119899 Москва, Университетский проспект, 13
- по e-mail: boch@sai.msu.ru и/или eaas@sai.msu.ru);
Второе информационное сообщение будет разослано к 15 декабря 1999 г.


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 THE TARTARUS DATABASE OF ASCA OBSERVATIONS OF AGN

     We are proud to announce the release of version 1 of the tartarus database. For more details, please visit: http://tartarus.gsfc.nasa.gov/. The database contains reduced images, spectra and light curves for ASCA observations of active galaxies and is currently complete up the the end of the AO-5 phase of the mission.
     We hope you find this database useful, and welcome your comments to our helpdesk at: tartarus@olegacy.gsfc.nasa.gov
     Please pass on this message to colleagues who may be interested in the database. They can e-mail us if they wish to be added to the tartarus mailing list, which will be used infrequently to inform people of updates to tartarus and other related matters.
     If you have received this message erroneously or do not wish to receive further updates, please reply to this e-mail and we will remove your name from our list.
Best Regards,
The Tartarus Team
http://tartarus.gsfc.nasa.gov/doc/team.html


 POSTDOCTORAL APPOINTMENTS
at the Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik

     The MPA is the major German institution dedicated to theoretical research in astrophysics. It is situated a few kilometers north of the center of Munich on a campus shared with the MPI fuer Extraterrestriche Physik, the Technical University of Munich, and several other research institutes. The MPA has about a dozen permanent staff members who work with a somewhat larger number of postdoctoral researches and of graduate students; it also runs a vigorous visitor programme. The institute is housed in an attractive specially designed building which contains excellent library and computer facilities. It also has a privileged access to supercomputer facilities at the neighbouring MPP Computer Center. Current areas of interest include stellar atmospheres, the structure and evolution of single and multiple stars, accretion theory, supernovae, star formation, high energy astrophysics, computational fluid dynamics, the structure and evolution of galaxies, the physics of active galactic nuclei, gravitational lensing, galaxy formation and galaxy clustering, microwave background studies, physical cosmology, and particle astrophysics. Further information may be found on our Web page - http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de . The MPA is currently seeking to fill a number of postdoctoral position intended for promising young scientists who completed their PhD within the last five years. They are awarded initially for two years which can be renewed for up to another three. Annual salary is in the range 65000-80000 DM before tax, depending on age and family status.

Interested scientists are invited to apply to:
The Appointments Committee
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1
85740 Garching bei Muenchen.

Candidates should send a full curriculum vitae, a publication list and a summary of current research interests to this address by 15 December 1999. They should also arrange for three reference letters to arrive by the same date. Later applications will also be considered until all posts are filled.

The MPA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women and from minorities.

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