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The Planetary Report • June Solstice 2017

Spectacular Jupiter

On the Cover: The Juno spacecraft is revealing a new Jupiter to us—with roiling north and south polar storms, a “fuzzy” planetary core, a “lumpy” magnetic field, and more. As this magazine went to press, Juno flew over the Great Red Spot and the data gleaned there will surely change our ideas about this iconic Jovian feature. Jupiter’s unexpectedly storm-congested south pole is highlighted in this JunoCam image captured on May 19, 2017, from a height of 49,900 kilometers (about 29,000 miles).
NASA/SWRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran


2 Help Us Fuel Up For Launch! Richard Chute gives us a heads-up on getting LightSail 2 launched and a special opportunity to watch it happen.

6 Citizen Scientist Spots Changes on Rosetta’s Comet: Marco Parigi spotted a tiny change on 67P Churyumov- Garasimenko and helped the science team out.

8 Spectacular Jupiter: Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan talks to principal investigator Scott Bolton about Juno’s surprises.

14 A Lunar Sample Return Mission: Andrew Jones looks at China’s next lunar mission, Chang’e-5.

17 A Massive Find: Did a Planetary Society-funded citizen scientist help find one of Earth’s biggest impact craters? Jason Davis has a story to tell.

20 Defending Our World: Bruce Betts outlines the Society’s five steps for preventing asteroid impact, and more.

23 Planetary Science Resurgence: Casey Dreier reports on a U.S. budget that reaches near-historic heights for NASA’s robotic space exploration program.


4 Your Place in Space Bill Nye encourages us to think carefully about the future we are creating.

13 Volunteer Spotlight Volunteers engaged the public to stand up for science.

22 What’s Up? Planets and meteor showers...

Bill Nye and people
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