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The Planetary Report • March Equinox 2013

The Lure of Europa

On the Cover: ON THE COVER: With its probable ocean of liquid water and its geologic dynamism, Jupiter’s moon Europa is one of the most promising places in our solar system to search for signs of life. Scientists continue to use Galileo data, as exemplified by these enhanced color views (in various resolutions) of Europa’s fractured and mottled surface, to refine our view. Only a new mission, however, can bring us fresh, close-up views of this tantalizing world. Now on NASA’s drawing table, the Europa Clipper could do that—and more.
University of Arizona / NASA / JPL

Features

8 Turning the Tides: Alyssa Rhoden and Robert Pappalardo present the Europa Clipper.

14 An Ode to Discovery: Casey Dreier describes what’s lost in an era of austerity.

16 Storms of Distant Skies: Michael Carroll takes us on an illustrated weather tour of the solar system.

20 One Alpha Centauri Planet: Bruce Betts reports on this discovery and on Member-supported work to find more exoplanets in the AlphaCen system.

Planetary Society Kids: What conditions are needed for life to arise?

Departments

2 MySky Arizona and Antarctica: Vive la différence!

4 Your Place in Space Bill Nye looks at new missions and discusses the challenges ahead.

5 Planetary Radio Have you listened lately? Our guests fill you in on the details.

7 Snapshots from Space Curiosity takes a self-portrait.

13 Q&A Is Earth size important for habitability?

13 Factinos Asteroid 2012 DA14: The Movie.

23 What’s Up? Do you know your cloud patterns on Saturn?

astronaut on Phobos
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