Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 14, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Is there someone out there in outer space? PASADENA. Cnlif. (AP) The discovery by a radio as- tronomer IJiat aioms are com- bining inio molecules in two galaxies far out in the uni- verse raises anew an old question: Is there someone out there? The discovery announced recently by Dr. Leonid N. Well a chew, a 34-year-old radio astronomer at the Cali- fornia Institute of Technology here, is another piece of strong evidence supporting scientists who theorize there must be intelligent forms of life elsewhere in the universe. Galaxies are huge families of up to 100 billion or more stars. Our sun is one star in galaxy, the Milky Way. Weliaehew found that hy- drogen and oxygen atoms in the dust between stars in two galaxies 50 trillion miles from earth are combining lo form the hydroxyl chem- ical considered essential lo the evolution of life. The discovery means that the same processes that led to life on earth probably are oc- curring throughout the uni- verse. These processes at work for billions of years 1 codd have led to development of intelligent life elsewhere, scientists say. Weliachew's announcement came as other scientists were pursuing another line of life- ill-space research, asking questions such as: What if alien beings in some distant galaxy are trying to communicate with earth right now? How would we find their signal? "It would be like finding a needle in a haystack when you're not sure what the nee- dle looks said Dr. Ber- nard Oliver, a visiting profes- sor at Stanford University. Oliver is head of Project Cycicps, a summer think-tank program involving 20 univer- sity scientists and engineers. Meeting at the national Aero- nautics and Space Adminis- tration's research centre in Mountain View. Calif., they seriously considered how man would detect signals other life fonns might be beaming at earth. The existence of the NASA summer study and the S1I5.000 federal grant support- ing it is indicative of the change in the last 20 years in many scientists' thinking re- garding life in the universe. The change is the result of advances in techniques lo study tlie universe, sucli as radio astronomy, and a string of discoveries of which Weli- achew's is the latest. His work comes or the heels of the finding by NASA scien- tists of amino a c i d s h e building blocks of hvo meteorites that didn't burn uo when they plunged through the earth's atmosphere and were recovered intact. ABANDON THEORY Coupled with Uiese discover- ies has been abandonment of an old theory of star forma- tion that made it seem unlilrely other stars in Hie universe would have planets like the earth's sun. "By the current theories of the birth and development of is it' borne along with Molby. President Campers are leaving home in record numbers and taking more of the conveniences of them. Dick of Family Camping Federation, a national camping organization, slates. "According lo latest reports of camper nights at both public and private campgrounds across the nation, campers are taking to the highways and by- ways o[ scenic American m unprecedented numbers." More than nine million camp- er nights were recorded in na- tional parks in 1970. This num- ber will increase to over ten million this year. The state parks are busy, too. Florida re- ports that its slate operated parks accommodate ap- proximately 20 per cent more visitors this year than last. Dur- ing a recent ten month per- iod, campers were turn- ed away from Florida parks for lack of space. In 1370, Mich- igan's stale park system set new highs by hosting more than visitors and 500 camping families; but thousands of camping families were lurned away from Michi- gan parks last year because of lack of space. All across the country, 1971 figures, to date, show a marked increase in the demand for campsites over 1970. The production of recreation- al vehicles in the United Stales is increasing rapidly. The larg- er, higher priced vehicles Iwost the greatest increase. The Rec- reational Vehicle Institute re- ports production of motor homes during the first six months of 1971 was up 75 per cent over the same period of 1970. F. M. Radigan. RVI's na- tional director, believes that the industry is "still several year's away from reaching its maximum peak output." The Stanford Research Institute pre- dicts the number of recreation- al vehicles on American high- ways will reach a level more than three times the current number by 1900. The increasing number of recreational vehicles plus the trend toward larger, more so- phisticated units has caused a few minor problems. The pub- lic campground facilities are not equipped to handle the un- precedented influx of vehicles requiring larger campsites, full hookups for electricity, water and sewage disposal, as well as oilier camper conveniences. Only about 14 per cent of public- ly owned campgrounds have electrical hookups, 5 per cent have water hookups and only 2 per cent have sewer hookups. In contrast, 70 per cent of all campsites in private camp- grounds have clcclrical hook- ups, 54 per cenl have water hookups, and 30 per cent hnve sewer hookups. Campers are swamping our national parks. The deluge has caused the National Park Ser- vice lo revise policies for pro- viding camping facilities. In ex- plaining lite government's posi- tion on campground develop- ment, George 13. Ilarlzog, Jr., director of Ihe Nnlional Park Service, commcnlrd, "For sev- eral years we tried' lo accom- modate as many campers as possible in our national parks. This resulted in 'w all to wall' camping ,ind overflow camping on land nol suitable for that purpose." Now, Hnrlzog pointed out, "It is our policy to encourage Ihe development of privately own- ed campgrounds near national park system areas, for we real- ize that we do not have the capability to handle the camp- ing load by ourselves." Private enterprise has re- sponded to the increased de- mand for campsites, and pri- vate campgrounds now offer Iwice as many campsites as public parks in all of the 48 states, the rational Park Ser- vice, and Ihe United States For- est Service combined. The largest system of pri- vately owned campgrounds, Kampgrounds of America, has blanketed the country with more than campsites at more than 500 locations since it began operations in 1962. Dur- ing the last four months, a new KOA Kampground has opened approximately every 42 hours. By 1975 KOA expects to have more than campgrounds within its network. Orphanage project gets CALGARY (CP) AttempLs hy residents west of the city to stall the opening of a private orphanage have been over- ruled by the View Muni- cipal District Development Ap- peal Board. Maurice Spring, an area resi- dent, had planned for several years to build homes for par- cntless children on land he owned in the district and ac- quired municipal approval three years ago. Forty-six ratepayers appeall- ed council's approval saying there were irregularities in Mr. Spring's planning. The appeal board said the pro- posed use of the land was "pro- per" and upheld the develop- ment project. "The project has been my dream since 1D4-1, and I don't intend lo give it up said Mr. Spring, a former head of the engineering department at Mount Royal Community Col- lege. He plans to offer his facili- ties to children orphaned by [.he Peruvian earthquake and has received federal approval to bring them into the country. "As soon as I get the final O.K. from the department of health and social development I will be bringing in some chil- dren." B.C. purchases new ferry ship VICTORIA (CP) A 221- foot ferry that serves Sorel, Quo., has been bought by Ihe British Columbia Ferries Auth- ority for to replace Ilia Pcnder Queen, Highway Minis- ter Wesley Black said today. The ferry will be converted lo full water use on the Horse- shoe Bny Bowcn Island run al n cost of It will re- place the wooden hulled Pon dor Queen. The new ferry lias space for 70 cars and 335 pas- sengers. stars, satellite systems (plan- els) are the norm and not the Dr. Richard E. Dickerson, a professor of chemistry al wrote recently. 'H would be a rare sol-type star that did not have planets." What is the probability then lha' at least one planet around a given slar has the right conditions for life? Be some calculations, the probability is high. Dr. Ronald N. Braccwell, director of Ihc Stanford Uni- versity Radio Astronomy In- stitute, estimates that within 100 light years, or 580 trillion miles, of earth there are stars similar Lo the sun that might have planets. Deter- mining if intelligent beings in any of these solar systems are trying to signal earth would he jusl a matter of pointing a sensitive radio telescope at slar and listening for radio emissions (hat couldn't be explained by natural sources. Such an allcmpt was made in 1960 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory a t Green Bank, W. where for a lime Uie radio receiver listened for intelligent signals from I wo of the stars nearest lo earth, Tail Ccti and Epsilon Erdani, which are 11 light years distant. Nothing was heard. "If we made contact with such people it would be a shattering Bra- cewell said. Kadi' waves travel at the speed of light. If signals were detected from a star SO light years distance light would travel in 50 years would take 50 years for a reply 'rom earth lo reach the slar and another 50 years for the aliens' reply. "You would never live lo hear the answer lo your origi- nal said Dr. Ben Zuckerman, a young radio as- Ironorrer at Callech. "I can't say when we will detect their signals, but I know many radio astronomers who think it will happen in OLT lifetime." Although speculation about life in other galaxies or earth's own Milky Way is cap- turing the imagination of many scientists, the possibil- ity of life within the confines of our solar system still is ap- pealing. Most likely candidate is Mars, which two Russian space probes and a Mari- ner spacecraft will reach next er. LIFE POSSIBLE "I would say Mars is mar- ginal for life but still s good said Dr. Norman Horowitz, Callech professor of biology and expert on Martian life. The possibility of life on Mars received a strong boost last spring in a laboratory ex- periment by Horowitz and his colleagues. They used crushed glass to simulate Martian soil and carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and water vapor to simulate the Martian atmos- phere near the surface. The glass and gases were irra- diated wilh ullraviolet light, the main type of solar radia- tion thai strikes Mars. The scientists discovered the radiation reacted wilh the gases, with tile glass acting as a catalyst to produce forml- dehyde, acetaidehyde and gly- colic acid. The three chemi- cals are precursors for the syntlresis of amino acids. "As far as we can tell, (here's no reason to I his process isn't occurring on the Martian surface where water vapor is Hor- owitz said. What might Martian life be like? Horotiz replies: "It would be some low form microhial life living in the soil. That would be a great discovery. "In fact, any form of Mar- tian !ife would be absolutely world shaking. It's a question we really ought to answer in our time, especially since we have the technology to do it." Fuetdoy, Sepltmbtr 14, 1971 THE IETHBRIDOF (iWAlO 17 FACES HEARING Serge Kourdakov, a 20-year-old Soviet seaman, faces an immigration hearing in Van- couver today in his bid to gain entry inlo Canada. Tha powerful radio operator jumped from a Russian fishing vessel Saturday and foughl cold, rough seas for than four hours before staggering inlo Ihe liny settle- ment of Tasu on Moresby Island in norlh-coaslal British Columbia, half-naked, exhausted and bleeding from num- erous cuts. He will tell his story lo an officially-approved simpsons-sears Wednesday Personal Shopping Only Please While Quantities Last Men's Jacket Clearance GROUP 1- Reg. lo Easy.care shower proof ond wind resislonr nylon jackets. GROUP II- Reg. to Durable Permanent Prest Dupont Nylon. Wafer proof. 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