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The Planetary Report • November/December 1998

NEAR Looks at Antarctica

On the Cover: One universally acclaimed benefit of space exploration is the new perspectives it gives us of our home planet. The curve of Earth's sphere was first seen in early suborbital flights. The people of Earth had their first chance to appreciate their planet as a bright blue disk floating in darkness—as an oasis in space—when humans on the to the Moon turned their camera back on their home world. In the decades since, a few interplanetary spacecraft have looked homeward on journeys to even more distant worlds. Voyager and Galileo each provided cover images for The Planetary Report, and now the
Northwestern University / APL / NASA

Features

4 NEAR So Far: Approaching Eros: NEAR team members Scott L. Murchie, James V. McAdams, Mark S. Robinson, and Jonathan Joseph preview some of the discoveries they hope to make in the coming months.

9 Help Name the Craters on Eros! Charlene Anderson invites Society members to help name up to 300 landmarks on a distant world.

10 Planetary Rings: Endless Allure: Star Trek science consultant Andre Bormanis takes a look a scientists' attempts to understand this beautiful and mysterious phenomenon.

16 There's a New Bird Aloft—Hope: John Logsdon reports on the Nozomi (in English, Hope) mission to Mars—Japan's first mission to another planet.

Departments

3 Members' Dialogue The Moon, life, and Pluto.

18 News & Reviews Predicting natural hazards on Earth.

19 World Watch The Commercial Space Act, Australia's NEO program, upcoming launches from Canaveral, and human space expeditions.

20 Q&A What if Huygens lands in a lake on Titan?

22 Society News The Society joins SETI@home.

astronaut on Phobos
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