Press Release

NEO (Near Earth Object) News

By SpaceRef Editor
January 12, 2000
Filed under

NEO News (1/12/00) Two Meetings

Dear Friends and Students of NEOs:

Following are announcements of two international professional
meetings scheduled for later this year that deal, at least in part,
with NEOs and the NEO impact hazard.

David Morrison



Vienna, 9-12 July 2000


You are cordially invited to participate in the international
conference on Catastrophic Events and Mass Extinctions: Impacts and
Beyond, to be held at the University of Vienna, Austria, from Sunday,
July 9, 2000, to Wednesday, July 12, 2000. The meeting will start
with registration and a welcome party on Sunday, July 9, 2000, at the
Geological Survey of Austria, Rasumofskygasse 23, A-1030 Vienna. Oral
and poster sessions will be held Monday to Wednesday (July 10-12,
2000) at the “Geozentrum” (UZA II) of the University of Vienna,
Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna. Detailed directions to both locations
will be included in the final announcement. In a slight change to the
information given in the first announcement, we are now offering two
pre- and two postconference field trips, to allow participants to
join two different field trips if they so desire (see Field
Excursions below).

Vienna is the capital of the Federal Republic of Austria, a member of
the European Community. With about 2 million people in the Vienna
metropolitan area (out of about 8 million in Austria), it is one of
Europe’s most historical and beautiful cities. Palaces, museums,
gardens, coffee shops, wine caverns (the famous “Heurigen”), and
abundant musical events offer entertainment and
relaxation (preferably before and after the conference!). The weather
in July should be pleasant, warm (about 20-30 degrees Celsius, or
68-85 degrees Fahrenheit), and mostly sunny, but occasional cold
spells and rainy periods are possible. Public transportation is
inexpensive and efficient. Vienna is easily reachable by airplane,
train, or car.

For detailed information on Vienna, including cultural programs,
museums, concerts, public transportation, maps, addresses, and other
links, see the Web page of the Vienna Tourist Board (
For general information on Austria, see the Web page of the Austrian
National Tourist Office (

This conference will be the fourth of an informal series of meetings
on mass extinctions and global catastrophes, including the geological
and biological consequences of large-scale impact events. The first
and second of these meetings were held in 1981 (October 19-22) and
1988 (October 20-23) at Snowbird, Utah, and the third one took place
in 1994 (February 9-12) in Houston,
Texas. The first of these meetings dealt mainly with the
then-controversial hypothesis that a large-scale impact event
occurred 65 m.y. ago and was responsible for the end-Cretaceous mass
extinction; the second meeting focused on the evidence (e.g., in
terms of shock metamorphism) that such a large impact event happened;
and at the third conference the discussion centered on the Chicxulub
impact structure, which had in the meantime been proposed as the
long-sought K/T boundary impact crater.

We are now at a stage where the question should be asked if (and how)
short-term, high-energy events influence biological evolution on the
Earth. Various mass extinctions, of different degrees, mark some of
the geological boundaries. These have been studied in the past, but
only recently has there been a discussion on how short the timescale
of these mass extinctions really was. For example, recent studies of
the most profound extinction event in Earth’s history, at the end of
the Permian, indicated a much shorter time
frame for this event than earlier data had suggested, with
significant associated geochemical anomalies. The cause for this
global catastrophe is currently unknown. Other short-term events
(e.g., Proterozoic Snowball Earth, late Devonian, Triassic-Jurassic,
late Eocene) in the stratigraphic record of the Earth are now
receiving unprecedented attention. Thus we feel that the time has
come to summarize and discuss the current state of knowledge of the
character and causes of mass extinctions and catastrophic events in
the history of our planet.

The venue for the scientific sessions will be the new “Geozentrum”
(UZA II) of the University of Vienna at Althanstrasse 14 in Vienna’s
9th district. This building houses all Earth science institutes of
the University of Vienna, as well as a library and various lecture
halls. Oral and poster sessions will be held from Monday, July 10, to
Wednesday, July 12, 2000. Registration will be available throughout
the meeting. No parallel sessions are planned. Oral sessions will be
held from 8.30-12.30 and from 14.00-18.00, with a half-hour coffee
break during each session. A poster session (with refreshments) will
be held next to the lecture hall on Monday afternoon (July 10, 2000).
Posters will
remain on display throughout the entire meeting. A public lecture
broadly related to the topic of the meeting is planned.

To maximize interaction among all participants, allow for ample
discussion time, and emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of this
meeting, all contributions will be considered (similar to previous
meetings of this series) for poster presentations. Oral presentations
will consist of 25-minute invited reviews intended to set the stage
for certain topics selected by the international
program committee, and some 5-minute presentations selected by the
program committee from all other contributions. The latter are
intended to supplement review talks on specific topics and provide
either new and important data, viewpoints, arguments, or present a
controversial viewpoint. Discussion time will be scheduled to amount
to approximately 50% of the total time available. Also, to allow
efficient interaction and discussion, attendance will be limited to
300 participants (the maximum capacity of the lecture hall).

Researchers in scientific disciplines related to any aspect of the
meeting are invited to contribute abstracts for poster presentation
(print-only abstracts will not be considered). As explained above,
the program committee will select some of these abstracts for
five-minute oral presentations. Abstracts may not
exceed TWO pages, including graphics, tables, and references. All
abstracts must include FULL mailing addresses of all authors.
Possible topics include, but are not necessarily limited to, the

  • Crises in Earth history
  • Proterozoic Snowball Earth
  • Late Devonian extinctions
  • Permian-Triassic boundary
  • Triassic-Jurassic boundary
  • Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary
  • Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary
  • other boundary events
  • Environmental consequences of impacts and other short-term,
    high-energy events (e.g., volcanism)
  • Mechanisms of mass extinctions: causes and relations
  • Atmospheric response to impacts, volcanic eruptions, glaciations
  • Connection between impacts and volcanism
  • Interpretation of the stratigraphic record: reading event
    markers, determination of near-extinctions, recognition of a
    hiatus, discussion of “true” blind tests
  • Extraterrestrial influences: near-Earth asteroids, comets,
    companion stars, supernovae, etc.
  • Large-scale impact events in Earth history

    Abstracts on related topics not listed here are also welcome.
    However, contributions should be relevant to the general theme of the
    meeting; thus papers dealing with, e.g., details of a particular
    impact crater, or local biostratigraphy, may not be considered.
    Contributors are also asked to indicate whether they regard their
    work as primarily new data, new data with significant
    implications, a model or new interpretation of data, or a review.


    Deadline for hard-copy submission
    FEBRUARY 25, 2000 (5:00 p.m. CST)

    Deadline for electronic submission
    MARCH 3, 2000 (5:00 p.m. CST)

    More information at



    September 11-15, 2000

    From A.V. Zaytsev (

    23 Dec 1999

    We are enclosing the First Announcement and Call for Papers the Third
    International Conference ‘SPACE PROTECTION OF THE EARTH – 2000’.
    “SPE-2000” which will be held in Crimea in Evpatoriya city on
    September 11-15, 2000.

    We are hoping this conference will be as fruitful and successful as
    the last one and looking forward to your participation.

    To ensure the conference’s success, we would like to ask your support
    in giving this notification the widest possible distribution. In this
    regard, if you will send us the names of prospective attendees, we
    will be most happy to send them the announcements and call for papers.

    We wish to express our sincere congratulations on Christmas and New
    Year and best wishes of further success in your work and of personal

    Yours sincerely,


    Konstantin SUKHANOV

    Anatoly ZAITSEV

    Oleg SHUBIN


    Series of international conferences “Asteroid Hazard”
    (Saint-Petersburg) and “Space Shield of the Earth” (Snezhinsk, former
    Chelyabinsk-70) were held in Russia in 90s. They were devoted to one
    of the most complicated problems facing mankind – protection of the
    Earth from the threat of its collision with asteroids and comets.
    Distinguished scientists and specialists from many countries of the
    world including Russia, the U.S. and other contributed to the

    The vital urgency of the problem is emphased by scientific
    information, which has been accumulated about the role of the space
    collisions in the history of the Earth and mankind, and predictions
    of destruction effects. The interest to this problem has been growing
    year by year since new scientific data and technologies appear that
    could be used to prevent such catastrophe.

    The next third Conference “Space Shield of the Earth-2000” (SPE-2000)
    will take place in Crimea in Evpatoriya city on September 11-15,
    2000. Crimea is not only a well-known Black Sea health resort but a
    place where astronomical and radar observations of asteroids and
    comets are fulfilled as well as control of the interplanetary space
    satellites studying the solar system objects.

    The Conference is organized by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center
    (All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of the Technical Physics)
    (RFNC-VNIITF), Lavochkin Association (LA) and the Institute of
    Technical Mechanics (ITM) of the National Academy of Sciences of
    Ukraine and Ukrainian Space Agency, Scientific Technical Foundation
    “Space Shield” supported by Minatom RF, Russian Aerospace Agency,
    Ukrainian Space Agency and some other organizations.


    The objectives of the conference are to assess the state of
    scientific researches in the sphere of planetary protection from
    asteroids and comets; to work-out recommendations for their further
    development; to wide contacts among specialists and to atract people
    attention to this problem. In addition, it is planned to consider
    some associated problems, for example, feasibility assessment of
    utilizing small celestial bodies in the interests of space science
    and mankind development.


    1.Asteroid and comet hazard

  • Collisions of asteroids and comets with the Earth and other
    celestial bodies (real events and their consequences, classification,
    modelling, risk assessment);
  • Existing technology of detection and observation of small celestial
    bodies (ground methods and means, space missions);
  • Results of studying asteroids and comets (characteristics, orbit,
    engineering, physical and other models);

    2.Scientific and technological aspects of creating of the defense
    devices against dangerous celestial bodies

  • Conceptual basis for ensuring Earth defense as well as protection
    of other objects and other objects (problems, requirements,
    principles and construction schemes, application scenarios and etc.);
  • Technologies of detection, support and research of the near-Earth
    objects (NEOs) (methods, means, construction and interaction schemes,
    potentialities of amateur astronomy, etc.);
  • Technologies of delivery means of influence to dangerous celestial
    bodies (rocket-space systems, ballistics, navigation, approaching and
    aiming dynamics, etc.);
  • Technologies of influence onto dangerous celestial bodies (methods,
    safety, kinetic means, nuclear, etc.);
  • Information support and control (information acquisition and
    processing, decision making, warning, control of the components and
    their interaction);
  • Work-out of the planetary defense system components (space
    missions, demonstration experiments, schemes, means, sensors, etc.);
  • Miscellaneous (integration, safety, economics, etc.);

    3.Social aspects of planetary defense

  • Ecological, political, legislation and other problems;
  • International co-operation.

    4.Prospects and problems of utilizing asteroid and comet resources

    Articles aimed to resolve some specific problems of Planetary defence
    system creation will be of higher priority.


    Vadim A. SIMONENKO – Deputy Scientific Director of RFNC-VNIITF

    Konstantin G. SUKHANOV – Deputy Chief Designer of Lavochkin Association.


    Deadline for pre-registration – February 01, 2000

    Deadline for abstracts – March 01, 2000

    Notification of acceptance – April 30, 2000

    Submission of the full papers – June 30, 2000

    Conference schedule

    Registration desk open – September 10

    Conference – September 11-15

    The participants and companions will be invited to take tours to the
    Crimean places of interest.


    English and Russian languages are the official languages of the conference.


    The one page abstracts of the proposed papers should be presented in
    two languages English and Russian (for participants from CIS). They
    should contain the following information:

    – title of the paper;

    – author’s/authors’ names and affiliations;

    – full address.

    Please, send the abstracts (the preferable format – TXT or MS Word
    6.0/7.0/97/2000 ) to vice-chairs of the Program Committee via e-mail:

    Anatoly V. ZAITSEV

    Oleg N. SHUBIN

    Lavochkin Association

    Leningradskoye Sh., 24

    141400, Khimki, Moscow region

    Tel.: +7 095 251-35-69, 575-52-94

    Fax: +7 095 575-52-94, 573-87-10



    Registration fee (includes payments for transportation, conference
    materials, interprener service, banket )

    Before June 30, 2000 – $ 300

    On suite – $ 350

    Accompanying person – $ 150

    Students – $ 100

    Living expenditures with three time meals

    Hotels *** – $ 120 a day

    Hotels **** – $ 140 a day


    David Morrison, NASA Ames Research Center

    Tel 650 604 5094; Fax 650 604 1165 or




  • SpaceRef staff editor.