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SCIENCE

Sounding out Landmines

ATLANTA - Scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology say they may be able to detect land mines using the technology of sound.

Current systems such as ground-penetrating radar and metal detectors have difficulty distinguishing between objects, so the scientists are experimenting with a system that uses an electrodynamic shaker in direct contact with the soil to create measurable sound waves. As the waves travel through the ground, radar measures change when the waves bounce off a land mine.

TECHNOLOGY

Internet has celluloid reeling

LOS ANGELES - "Titan A.E.," an animated sci-fi film featuring the voices of Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore, will be the first movie to be beamed over the Internet to a movie theater. On Tuesday, the movie will be sent over a secure Internet network from a Hollywood studio to a theater in Atlanta, Ga., to be downloaded and digitally screened.

This technology could one day replace a movie distribution system, once issues of copyright protection and cost are resolved. The cost of a digital projector, special screen, and computer equipment add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ASTRONOMY

Ye olde asteroid

ITHACA, N.Y. - The 21-mile-long Eros asteroid, which orbits 100 million miles from Earth, may be a product of the dawn of the solar system.

Cornell University scientists were able to analyze the chemical composition of the asteroid, after X-rays from an unexpected sunburst washed over the asteroid, producing a "glow." Different elements on the asteroid's surface glowed at different wavelengths, revealing its age.

Ratios of silicon, magnesium, and aluminum were "basically preserved as they were in the solar nebula, and nothing much has happened since. We are seeing into the very distant past," one of the scientists said.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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