Cosmic Ray News Bulletin


Author: Frank C. Jones
Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics, Code 665
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
Tel: 1-301-286-5506
Fax: 1-301-286-1682


The last paper edition of CosNews

Up to now CosNews has been distributed via a bulk mailing process. While recipients in North and South America have received their copies by direct mail from a point local to the editorial office, most of the world receives their copies through a two step process. Bulk quantities are shipped to various distribution centers around the world each of which maintains a distribution list for their part of the world. It has become apparent to the Commission on Cosmic Rays (and to me, your editor) that the bulk mailing system that we have employed has ceased to work effectively. Some recipients of CosNews are not receiving their issues until some months after they have been sent from here. Since distributing the newsletter directly from here to the entire world would be either too expensive (via Air Mail) or no faster (via surface mail) the Commission has decided on what may appear to some as a drastic remedy; this will be the last complete paper issue of CosNews to be printed and distributed. Henceforth CosNews will be primarily an electronic publication; we are moving to the World Wide Web (WWW) as of now.

Advantages to this form of publication will be the speed with which it can be distributed and the fact that dynamic links can connect the reader with additional documents provided by the Commission, the organizers of the next ICRC or practically anyone who can provide legitimately useful information to the cosmic-ray community. One disadvantage is that it is not obvious to the reader that a new edition has been posted to the Web. To aid with this we will notify you by E-mail whenever a new edition is posted if you subscribe to our automated mailing list.

The way to subscribe is to send a message to:
with a one-line body which says:
subscribe cosnews <Your Real Name>
example: subscribe cosnews John Smith

The subject field is unimportant and your E-mail address will be extracted automatically.

Although almost anyone who has access to the Internet can view documents on the Web (browsers for nearly every type of computer are available; there are usually free versions) some members of the cosmic-ray community do not have Internet access of any kind. As we have no wish to cut any of you off from reading CosNews we will provide a paper copy (essentially a print out of the Web page) to anyone who will write to me at the address shown above stating that they have no Internet access and wish to receive a printed copy of CosNews. Of course the complete mailing address of the recipient should be included. Every attempt will be made to distribute the printed copy to those needing it in a timely fashion. Of course, it would be greatly appreciated if recipients of paper copies who, presumably by obtaining Internet access, no longer need a paper copy would notify the editor of that fact.

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Cosmic Ray Commission conference questionnaire

In the beginning of 1995, the Cosmic Ray Commission conducted a poll among members of the cosmic ray community about several aspects pertaining to International Cosmic Ray Conferences (ICRC's). The results of the poll were presented at the Rome conference, and the Commission considered these results during that conference. One important change will occur as a result of this poll: ICRC's will in future be shorter, lasting only seven working days, with facilities provided by the organizers for unofficial workshops during the three days before and after the conference.

The other main results of this poll are briefly summarized in this contribution.

A total of 260 responses were received, and these responses were conveniently divided into the following four regions of equal size (each 25±1 %)

  1. North America
  2. "Western" Europe and Australasia
  3. "Eastern" Europe and Former Soviet Union (FSU)
  4. The rest of the world.

At least half of the ICRC's were attended by 48% of the respondents, with this attendance being 79% for the North American group, 47% for "Western" Europe, 31% for "Eastern" Europe and the FSU, and 38% for the rest of the world.

ICRC's are traditionally divided into the sections OG (Origin), HE (High Energy Phenomena), and SH (Solar and Heliospheric Effects). The interest expressed in these sections was about 42% in OG, 33% in HE, and 25% in SH.

The present two-year frequency for ICRC's was preferred by 85% of the respondents, while the best time to schedule ICRC's was clearly between 15 July and 31 August. The Commission therefore urged organizers not to schedule their conference outside this period. The most preferred two-week period was from 15 to 31 August.

The number of oral contributions will be restricted in future, with a guideline of maximum three oral contributions per author, and at most one such contribution per session. The Commission stressed, however, that this was to be used as a guideline by organizers, depending on the actual length of the conference programme.

Since 86% of respondents were in favour of, or were willing to participate in well-organized poster sessions, the Commission strongly urged future organizers to develop the quality and quantity of these posters sessions. The Commission recognized the good examples set in this regard by the organizers of the 1990 and 1991 conferences in Adelaide and Dublin.

The length and prominence of rapporteur sessions was regarded as optimal by 70% of the respondents, but 60% wanted rapporteurs to put stronger emphasis on interpretation and evaluation of contributions, instead of merely reporting on the contributions at the conference. The Commission therefore urged organizers to select their rapporteurs accordingly, and to inform them of this requirement.

Highlight Sessions, as introduced at the La Jolla conference in 1985, were supported by 83% of the respondents. However, 32% said that care should be taken not to repeat these papers in the parallel sessions. The Commission therefore decided that these highlights should be continued and developed further, and that their authors should be given clear guidance on how to divide their contributions between the highlight and parallel sessions.

Fifty six percent of the respondents were in favour of pre-conference proceedings. This number increased to 60% if the submission date would be no more than eight weeks before the conference. The North American group was the least positive about pre-conference proceedings, with favorable responses of 42% and 55% to these two questions. It is noteworthy that the respective figures for active participants were 57% and 60%. The Commission thus ruled that the classical pre-conference proceedings style should be maintained, and that organizers were urged to make their submission dates no longer than two months prior to the conference.

Since 55% of respondents preferred the status quo of unrefereed proceedings, and 84% preferred that the invited and rapporteur talks should be printed by a professional publisher as at present, the Commission ruled that these customs should be continued.

Thirty eight percent of respondents regarded COSNEWS as an important or useful medium, but 48% thought that an electronic version would be preferable. This has resulted in the WWW home page COSNEWS being established in January 1996.

The current two-week conference was preferred by 45% of respondents, while 41% preferred a one-week version. The corresponding figures for "Eastern" Europe and the FSU were 75% and 11%. The other three groups, however, preferred the one-week format. Active participants preferred the one-week conference 58% to 40%. In a three-way choice, 45% preferred the two-week conference, 32% the one-week version with one day break, and 22% the one-week version without a break. The Commission therefore decided that future conferences will have an official core of seven working days, running from Wednesday to Wednesday, with a Sunday break in between. The three days prior to and after the conference will then be used for unofficial, and privately organized workshops.

This seven-day decision limits the number of invited talks that can be scheduled at the conference. About 85% of the respondents were satisfied with the number, level, and topical range of the invited talks. However, 59% said that they would accept a reduction in the number from the current 7 to about 4, to shorten the conference to one week, and the Commission accepted this sacrifice.

A large majority felt that workshops at ICRC's should continue on the present unofficial level and scheduling, although 20% of respondents requested more daytime. This can be achieved with the new scheduling as above.

The Cosmic Ray Commission thanks all participants of this poll for their time.

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Durban ICRC Logo 25th International Cosmic Ray Conference, Durban, South Africa

The Organizing Committee of the 25th International Cosmic Ray Conference is now on the World Wide Web. The conference has a home page with links to a registration form, background material and a discussion of their logo shown here. The site may be reached by setting your browser to the URL

International School of Cosmic-Ray Astrophysics

"Towards the Millennium in Astrophysics: Problems and Prospects" will be the theme of the 10th Course of the International School of Cosmic-Ray Astrophysics, to be held 16-26 June, 1996 at the Ettore Majorana Centre in Erice, Sicily, Italy. The Director of the School is Prof. M. M. Shapiro. Co-directors of the 10th Course are Prof. M. M. Shapiro and Prof. J. P. Wefel.

The "provisional" staff of Lecturers includes Professors Cowsik, Cronin, Fishman, Greenberg, Grindlay, Protheroe, Sanchez, Shapiro, Silberberg, Simpson, Spiro, Stone, Tammann, Taylor, van Paradijs, and Wefel. Enclosed is a list of topics to be covered and a mini-poster suitable for reproduction and posting.

Please bring this course to the attention of advanced graduate students, postdoctoral research associates and young scientists interested in attending. They should apply to one of the directors at the addresses below. A brief CV (including date and place of birth, sex, citizenship, degrees and academic qualifications, present position and place of work, publications, and current research interests) and a brief supporting letter from a senior scientist should be included. No special application form is required.

Financial aid is available on a first come basis and is normally limited to a portion of the living expenses in Erice. Travel expenses cannot be covered. Students needing financial aid must justify the request with their application, including the level of support available from their home institutions.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible (especially if financial aid is requested) but certainly before 15 April 1996. Please respond to:

Prof. Maurice M. Shapiro
#2- 1514 205 Yoakum Parkway
Alexandria, VA 22304 USA
Telephone: 1-703-370-1985
FAX: 1-703-370-1985

John P. Wefel
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001
Telephone: 1-504-388-8696
E-Mail:7894::WEFEL(SPAN/DECnet) -- or

Each participant will receive a Letter of Invitation to participate in the course.

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Third Latin American Conference on space geophysics and formation of the Latin American Association of Space Geophysics

Havana, Cuba, 1 - 5 November 1993

The Third Latin American Conference on Space Geophysics took place in Havana, Cuba, November 1 - 5, 1993. It was sponsored by the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Center for Pedagogical Conventions of the Ministry of Education with financial support from the Latin American Center of Physics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), UNESCO (Paris, France), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy) and COSPAR (International Council of Scientific Unions).

This was the third one of a series of conferences (1988 in Aguas de Lindoia, Brazil; 1991 in Cuernavaca, Mexico), whose main purpose is to promote the cooperation between Latin American Scientists on topics of space geophysics, and to foster their participation in international research projects.

The meeting in Cuba was attended by 57 scientists from universities and research centers in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Cuba, as well as from United States, Germany, Russia, U.K. and Spain. They contributed with 63 poster papers; 9 invited tutorial review papers were presented in oral form. There were two round table discussions, an ad-hoc assembly of participants called to consider the creation of a Latin American organization on space geophysics, and several social events which contributed toward strengthening collegial ties and finding ways to assist Cuban scientists during the present trying times.

An important event during the conference was the assembly of participants called to discuss a proposal for the creation of a Latin American organization to deal with the subject in question. The assembly unanimously approved the establishment of ALAGE, the Spanish acronym for Latin American Association of Space Geophysics The basic document approved at the meeting defines "Space Geophysics" as the discipline that studies circumterrestrial space, including the middle atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere, as well as the interplanetary medium the solar, planetary and cometary envelopes, and solar-terrestrial relations.

Resolution of the participants in the III Latin American conference on space geophysics





  1. To create the Latin-American Space Geophysics Association (ALAGE, Spanish acronym) to strengthen the links among the community of participant scientists, taking as a base the document "On the creation of a Latin-American Space Geophysics association" adjoined to this resolution and integral part of it.
  2. To urge the public and private organizations, national and international, financing the scientific research in Latin-American countries to give special attention and assign priorities to the programs on Space Geophysics proposed in their respective spheres of influence.
  3. To demand to the Science Academies or Scientific Research Councils, depending on each country, to provide founds for a fee that permits the ALAGE to function properly, specially during the critical initial stage of its existence.

Havana City, November 4, 1993.

The provisional steering board, elected by the attendance, is formed by:

Jose Fco. Valdes Galicia
Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM,

Information Secretary:
Ma. Andrea Van Zele
Fac. de Ciencias Geologicas
Universidad de Buenos Aires,

Foreign Secretary:
Juan G. Roederer
Geophysics Institute
University of Alaska,

Statutes Commission:
Juan Perez Hernandez
Instituto de Geofisica y Astronomia
Academia de Ciencias de Cuba,

Luis Gomberoff
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad de Chile,

Ines S. Batista
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
Sao Jose Dos Campos

Javier A.Otaola
Instituto de Geofisica UNAM

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Robert L. Golden

Professor Robert L. Golden of New Mexico State University, Las Cruces died on April 7, 1995 after a brief illness. He was Director of the Particle Astrophysics Laboratory and taught classes in electrical engineering. He was well known for his cosmic ray research activities. Shortly before his death he was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal "for discovering antiprotons in cosmic rays and leading the development of superconducting magnet spectrometers for space-based and balloon-borne investigations of the cosmic radiation."

The Distinguished Public Service Medal is the highest honor that NASA confers to a non-Government individual. The award is granted only to individuals whose distinguished accomplishments contributed substantially to the NASA mission. It can be awarded only to an individual who is not an employee of the Federal Government or was not a Government employee during the period in which the service was performed. The contribution must be so extraordinary that other forms of recognition by NASA would be inadequate.

Golden's cheerful disposition will be remembered by all who knew him. He inspired people to think critically about the world around them and to share a sense of awe at the beauty of Earth and Space. Flying small aircraft was one of his favorite activities. He is survived by his immediate family; wife, Barbara Kimbell; son, John Kimbell Golden; daughter, Lisa Golden, mother, Helen Golden; and mother-in-law Lee Kimbell.

W. Vernon Jones

Javier Alejandro Otaola Lizarzaburu

Last 10 April 1995 Javier A. Otaola passed away, a victim of lung cancer. He was for more than 20 years the investigator in charge of the cosmic ray station in Mexico City. When he took over he had to completely reinstall the neutron monitor and muon telescope since the previous installation was not working properly. Mexico City is one of the few cosmic ray stations in near equatorial latitudes (cutoff=9.1GV) and mountain altitudes (height=2240 m above sea level) working normally around the world.

Born in Mexico, he was the son of one of the many young Spanish republican couples that had to abandon their country for their political ideas. Therefore it is not surprising that he was a man who always favoured the fight for freedom. Otaola had a B.Sc. in physics from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and a PhD. from Imperial College, London, where he was a student of Prof. Harry Elliot, working in the old Blackett Laboratory. At his return to Mexico he was incorporated into the group of Prof Ruth Gall who was the leader for many years as heir of the late Prof. Sandoval Vallarta. His research work was mainly concentrated in various aspects of the cosmic ray intensity variations detected on the earth surface, but he also worked very successfully in the area of Sun- Earth relationships. He also published a couple of popular science books on cosmic rays and solar terrestrial relationships. Statistical mathematics was another of his preferred fields, this led him to become a teacher of this course in the geophysics postgraduate studies and a necessary advisor for many researchers at UNAM.

As his health was frail, he was not a man who enjoyed much traveling, however, he was assiduous in attending the ICRC meetings. He had also established a close collaboration with the cosmic ray group at IZMIRAN, Russia. Prof. Lev Dorman made a visit to Mexico early this year, when Javier was already irrecoverably ill, but still making plans for future work together. Plans that had not the chance to become reality.

His interests beyond pure scientific work took him to become Deputy Director of the Geophysics Institute at UNAM (1980-1983), Head of the Space Physics Group (1987- 1990) and member of several academic and planning boards at UNAM and the Mexican National Research Council (CONACyT). He also participated actively in scientific Unions: in the Mexican Geophysical Union he was the treasurer from 1981 to 1988, and from 1993 to his death he was treasurer of the Latin-American Association for Space Geophysics. His illness did not let him finish a B. Sc. in history that he was studying under the open university system.

Javier was a quiet and dedicated person, not a man of many words or external manifestations of friendship. Nonetheless his human warmth was certainly felt by all those who shared with him feelings or ideas. His life was full of routines, worth altering only if a stimulating discussion was in progress or a friend needed some kind of help. Knowledge and solidarity are perhaps the two words that define best the inclinations of his character.

He is outlived by his mother, his wife and two sons: Alejandro and Javier.

Jose Fco. Valdes-Galicia

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