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February 07, 1989 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-07

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 7, 1989-- Pag* 3 ,

Sunspots
cause worry
for NASA
scientists
BY NOELLE SHADWICK
Sunspot activity is increasing at what could be its
fastest rate in history and is causing some scientists to
worry that satellite launchings may be delayed or their
missions cut short.
"The size of the current cycle is equal to the average
of the last 20 cycles and it's still going up," said
David Bohlin, chief of solar physics at NASA head-
quarters. "It looks like a real barn burner."
Sunspots - active sites on the sun that produce
ultraviolet light - are responsible for the expanding
of the Earth's outer atmosphere. The energy released
by the sunspots heats up the atmosphere and causes it
to expand, said University Engineering Prof. Andrew
Nagy.
The greater density of the expanded atmospheric
layer increases wind resistance and causes satellites to
fall back into orbit, he said.
Some NASA scientists are concerned that putting
satellites into orbit during sunspot activity may cause
some missions to be shortened.
"It's something we're watching, but we're not sure
if there will be a major impact yet [on satellite
launchings]," said Sam Keller, deputy associative ad-
ministrator for Space Science and Application at
NASA.
TheHubble Space Telescope, scheduled to launch
in December 1989, has worried scientists who fear it
could fall back to earth if it does not overcome the in-
creased wind resistance caused by the sunspots.
Sunspot activity normally fluctuates on an eleven-
year cycle, running through a number of peaks and
falls. The cycle usually peaks in the eleventh year.
The current cycle will peak in early 1990, said
Norm Cohen, solar forecaster at the Space Environ-
ment Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. The cycle is
currently rising at a rate equal to the most active cycle
in history and may soon surpass it.
Sunspot activity is also responsible for the dancing
Northern lights often seen in Alaska.
"There is a good possibility that the Northern lights
will be seen in Michigan [by] 1991," said University
Engineering Prof. Timothy Killeen.

State maya
face wastej
problems
Opposition groups
plan Lansing protest.
LANSING (AP) - Gov. James Blanchard said
yesterday the governor of Washington has assured him
that that state will continue accepting low-level ra-
dioactive waste from Michigan.
However, Blanchard said, if Michigan withdraws;
from a Midwest group that chose Michigan for a re-
gional disposal site, Washington then will refuse to *
accept any more waste.
Blanchard made his comments as opponents of ,
storing nuclear waste in Michigan announced a rally
for tonight, to precede Blanchard's State of the Stag
address.
"We have organized this rally because we are con
cerned about the state of our state, about the state of
our water, our air and the life this land supports," said
Ellen Beal, an Ingham County commissioner and co-
chair of Don't Waste Michigan, an opposition group.
The seven-state Midwest Interstate Low-Level Ra-
dioactive Waste Commission chose Michigan in July
1987 to provide a disposal site for radioactive waste,
from nuclear power plants, laboratories, industry, and
hospitals.
Michigan was within a few weeks of spelling out
where a disposal facility was possible in Michigan
when Blanchard last week halted the process ands
threatened to withdraw from the commission unless
certain federal laws were changed.
Among other things, he said, federal law calls for
far too many disposal sites nationally, and will transfer.
waste management liability to the state. He said if that.
isn't changed by July 1, Michigan will withdraw from.
the Midwest compact.
"Hopefully, we'll convey the message to the other
states that what we're doing is constructive and nott>,:
harmful to them," Blanchard said. "I'm optimistic we, ':
can deal with it."
Blanchard said he'll meet with Great Lakes govere'
nors later this month and that he's hoping he'll get -
their support for federal law changes.
k}

Heinz Grassel displays how
University's Space Research

the High
program,

Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI), designed in the
will take measurements of atmospheric winds.

NASA satellite to carry
instrument invented at 'U'

BY NOELLE SHADWICK
A NASA satellite that will study
responses of the upper atmosphere to
pollution and natural weather condi-
tions is scheduled to carry an in-
strument designed by University re-
searchers to measure the characteris-
tics of atmospheric winds.
The one-of-a-kind High-Resolu-
tion Doppler Imager (HRDI) is one
of nine instruments of NASA's Up-
per Atmospheric Research Satellite
(UARS), which is scheduled to be
launched in 1991.
HRDI will be the first instrument
to make comprehensive measure-

ments of stratospheric and metas-
pheric winds.
The satellite should provide a
better view of the upper atmosphere,
said University Prof. Paul Hayes,
director of the HRDI project.
"Right now we have a picture we
imagine is true. We're going to ex-
amine this view more clearly. Every
time we've done this [examined ex-
isting theories] we've discovered the
world's working in a vastly different
way than we thought," he said.
One aspect of the atmosphere
HRDI will study is the effect of
storms such as tornadoes or thunder-

storms on the upper atmosphere
winds.
Storms cause a "froth" in the up-
per atmosphere similar to rip cur-
rents in an ocean, Hayes said. No
one is quite sure why or how, he
said.
HRDI should be launched in 1991
if no further delays occur. HRDI and
UARS were originally scheduled to
be in flight this year, but space
shuttle Challenger's explosion in
1986 caused NASA to delay the
launch of UARS.
The delay caused considerable in-
creases in the price of HRDI.

I

PIRGIM makes cleanup
act number one priority,

BY NOELLE SHAD WICK
The establishment of a Compre-
hensive Cleanup Act (CCA) by the
Michigan legislature will be the
main goal of the Public Interest Re-
search Group in Michigan (PIRGIM)
for the next legislative session.
PIRGIM decided to make the
cleanup act a top priority following
the release of their investigative re-
port which gave the state an "F" on
Michigan's environmental waste
dump laws.
A cleanup act should include
standards and timetables for cleaning
up toxic sites as well as cost recov-
ery from polluters, said PIRGIM
Chair Jason Feingold.
As Michigan law exists now,
whoever creates a toxic waste site
owns it. There are no effective laws
to make polluters clean up their
dumps, Feingold said.
The Department of Natural Re-
sources has little power to stop pol-
luters from polluting, so the
responsibilty for cleanup has fallen
to the taxpayers, Feingold said.
"The DNR can't walk up to a site
and tell someone to clean up a site
and then make them clean up,"
Feingold said. It is not fair to make
the taxpayers foot the bill, he added.
Both the Michigan Chamber of
Commerce and chemical companies
responsible for pollution oppose the
comprehensive cleanup bill, said
PIRGIM lawyer Andrew Buchs-
baum.
PIRGIM believes that Governor
James Blanchard will make reference
to a cleanup Superfund in his state
of the state address this evening,
Buchsbaum said.

If PIRGIM can make a
priority item out of the
CCA, Governor Blan-
chard will support it
wholeheartedly.'
Jason Feingold, chair
of PIRGIM
PIRGIM hopes that by making a
grassroots effort to gain support for
a comprehensive cleanup act, they
will receive support from the gover-
nor and legislature.
"If PIRGIM can make a priority
item out of the CCA, Governor
Blanchard will support it whole-
heartedly," Feingold said.
MassIV
Monday, Fe bruai

At its meeting PIRGIM also
agreed to support an amendment toi
the Bottle Bill of 1976 which would i
give refunds from unclaimed bottle!
deposits to a recycling program in-
stead of to distributors.
Bottle distributors claim that the
deposits cover the cost of tranporting
bottles.
PIRGIM will undertake a research
project for the Michigan United
Conservation Clubs to examine4
pricing of recyclable beverage bottles
to see if the money reclaimed is re.
ally needed by bottle distributors to.
cover transportation of the bever-
ages.
Finally, PIRGIM adopted a pos; r
tion on the low-level radioactive
waste siting and compact disposal
program, recommending that Michi-
gan withdraw from the Midwest
Compact, barring the adoption of-
certain safety standards.
"
an Daily
leeting
ry 13th, 7:900 pm

Year of the Snake
Residents of New York's Chinatown celebrate yesterday for
of the Snake.

AssociaOte Press
the Chinese New Year, the Year

J

THE LIST
What's happening in Ann Arbor today

Speakers
"Hellenism in Late Antiq-
uity: Paganism and Greek
Culture" - Glen W. Bowersock,
Princeton University, Rackham
Graduate School Amphitheatre, 4
pm. Reception immediately fol-
lowing in Rackham Graduate W.
Conference Rm.
"Traditions of Classicism in
Architecture" - J. Whiteman,
Rackham Amphitheatre, 7:30 pm.
"Parallel Logic Program-
ming" - D. Sherlekar, 1311
EECS, 4 pm.
"Embodying the Great
Spirit: Telling the Cosmic
Story" - Chris and Donna Jor-
gensen, Michigan League,a3 rd
Floor, Rm. D, 7:30 pm.
"Blooming the Desert in Is-
rael" - Kahana Pinchas, 603 E.
Madison, 12 noon.
"Was There a *Big Bang at
the VT lndafrIv?" - Gerta

Stage An Insurrection" -
Revolutionary History Series,
B118 MLB, 7 pm.
"My Journey to Judaism" -
Hill Street Forum, Julius Lester,
Hillel, 8 pm.
Meetings
Lesbian and Gay Rights
Organizing Committee -
3100 Michigan Union, 8 pm.
Iranian Student Cultural
Club - Michigan League, Rm. C,
7:30 pm.
TARDAA Meeting - 296
Dennison, 8 pm.
Furthermore
Pre-Interviews - General
Dynamics, 1013 Dow, 3:30-5 pm;
Inland Steel, 1200 EECS, 6:30-
8:30 pm.
Writing Your CIF - Career

Ruling
may
close gas
stations
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
More than half of Michigan's gas
stations could be forced to close be-
cause of costly federal regulations to
prevent underground gas-storage
tanks from leaking, industry groups
contend.
Environmental Protection Agency
rules call for using new and safer
underground storage tanks, which
cost $65,000, and require stations to
carry $1 million in insurance against
accidental spillage. The regulations
are being phased in gradually though
1998.
"There's really no choice here."

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