National Geographic : 2006 Jun
and beauty than the succes sive photos on pages 62-3 and 65 of your February issue: the first, of three freshly skinned skulls staring blankly from their bloody butchering ground and the next of a contented, full-clawed bear chomping hungrily on a salmon. One can barely com prehend how anyone could derive pleasure from, much less pay handsomely for the privilege of, turning such a magnificent creature into such a lifeless pulp. EDMUND TIRYAKIAN Hong Kong, China Geographica: Go Boldly, Voyager I did hardware design work for the cosmic ray telescope on Voyager. It is nice to hear that something I did long ago is still going. MYRON L. WEBER Beecher, Illinois As a boy, I was fascinated by the probes I thought were the first to leave the solar system, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. Pioneer 10 was crossing the most outer point in 1983. Wouldn't it be the lucky one to be first out of the solar system? NILS OTTO Wilhelmshaven, Germany In 1983, when Pioneer passed the orbit of Pluto, it was described by some as having left the solar system. However, the solar system stretches far beyond Pluto. Voyager will be the first spacecraft to go beyond the outermost limits. Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, is now 8.4 billion miles from the sun, while Voyager, launched in 1977 but traveling faster, is now 9.1 billion miles away. Contact with Pio neer 10 ended in February 2003 when its power became too low to transmit a signal. Who Knew? As my daughter, a high school sophomore, ate a snack, I started to read to her: "Solid, liquid, gas, and ... what?" She blurted out, "plasma!" which is the right answer, but not what the author expected. The next line reads: "This should be as easy as naming John, Paul, George, and Ringo." My daughter's response: "Who?" The times they are a-changin'. ELLEN RISSMAN-WONG Yorba Linda, California Itis what makes incubators, baby bottles and car seats possible. It is chemistry.