National Geographic : 2003 Jun
FORUM price to be paid for pushing back the frontiers of knowledge that ultimately allows articles like this to be written. For the families of the crew I doubt if there are any words of consolation. How ever, it might help them to know that those of us who care pas sionately about space explora tion, and believe that it represents the very best endeavors and highest ideals of mankind, will never forget them. NICK BLOOMFIELD Milton Keynes, England Because the universe has been expanding since the big bang, every galaxy should be getting farther away from every other galaxy. They should be traveling radially outward from the point where the big bang occurred. How is it possible, then, that gal axies collide? OLE WIK Potter Valley, California On a large scale, yes, galaxies are moving awayfrom one another. On a local scale, however, the gravitationalattractionof two galaxies can overcome expansion and lead to their collision. Sea Vents Numerous times in the article the intensity and power of the lighting was mentioned, but the article failed to mention the damaging effects that such strong lights have on deep-sea organisms, which are completely unadapted to light of any kind. I remember coming across references to scientific studies that said that the lights used on scientific submersibles have blinded and otherwise irreversibly harmed the very organisms that were being so earnestly studied. MAITHILEE KUNDA Cambridge, Massachusetts There is evidence suggesting that floodlights may damage the pho tosensitive cells on the backs of vent shrimp. The cells are thought to detect the dim light emitted by the superheatedwater around black smokers. There appearsto be no effect, however, on their behavior,growth, or survival rate. Sacagawea The whale that Clark observed in January 1806 on the coast of Oregon, near present-day Can non Beach, is the first stranded *Taurus SEL interior shown with optional leather-trimmed seating and woodgrain package.