Many of you will probably have learned about this project at the IAU GA in The Hague last week, but here is the invitation again for the whole community. For practical reasons, please allow me to use the Mail Exploder as the most reliable tool to date for reaching out to you.
The Swiss science book publisher Birkhaeuser will prepare a book on the SL9 event as early as this November, directed at a general but astronomically interested audience. After the IAU GA it is clear that the definitive work on 'what was l e a r n e d' can come only much later, so the focus will be on the scientific process itself. In a style reminiscent of the NASA SP books 'Voyage to Jupiter' and 'Voyages to Saturn' or also Nigel Calder's 'Giotto to the Comets', the authors (Holger Heuseler and myself) will try to tell the story of how the eventful week took place in many places of the world simultaneously (I myself have been an eyewitness on Cerro Tololo), carry the best data (images and otherwise) that were available in near real-time and interweave the first results of a bit more detailled analysis that was done in the past month. This book thus will become something like the '30 days report' that several colleagues have asked for.
For the 'science as it happened' part we will rely on the exploder reports and similar message systems, for the 'instant science' on the daily NASA newsconferences and for the 'fast science' on the 9 hours of sessions that took place in The Hague last week. However, what we would like to include besides these sources are more personal contributions from individual observers or teams from around the world:
Interesting anecdotes would also be welcome, in particular if they exemplify the unusual circumstances of observing comets crashing into a planet (like that the IR brightness was 10 000 times your 'typical' celestial object).
And what we would appreciate most would be images, spectra and lightcurves we could use in our book! Certainly many data have been enhanced since the quicklook versions that are available now on the WWW. We could handle electronic data (usual formats for publishers like tif and gif, though not fits), but glossy hardcopies with captions would be preferred. Regarding submissions in text form, short remarks would be included in the main text, but longer contributions or statements, in particular those addressing specific details of an observation or - most welcome - physical aspects of the impacts, could very well become individual sidebars or boxes (here also more technical illustrations would be welcome). While the book in its present form will be published in German, all quotes and contributions will be stored in their original form, so a possible future international edition could draw directly on them.
If you would like to contribute to this project, please reply soon:
send texts, graphis or images by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them (+49-2244-80298) or mail (Daniel Fischer, Im Kottsiefen 10, 53639 Koenigswinter, Germany).
I will be in the U.S. for the next two weeks (Cambridge + Amherst, MA, and various SL9-related institutions in Maryland) but will remain on-line during the first. As the text will take shape between Sept. 10 and 25, timely replies would be most welcome.
Many thanks for your support - everything is appreciated!
Daniel Fischer for the Birkhaeuser publishing house, Basel, Switzerland