The September Equinox 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!
I’m delighted once again to announce that a new issue of The Planetary Report is on its way to our members. The cover and front of the magazine focus on our pride in the success of LightSail 2 and our gratitude to our members for making it happen. And then there’s some terrific science.
Venus has a special place in my heart, and I’m very pleased to bring you a summary of what we’ve learned from the two most recent missions, Venus Express and Akatsuki. Javier Peralta has worked on the science teams of both missions and takes us on a tour of every level of Venus’ bewilderingly complex atmosphere. And I have a new set of gorgeous Akatsuki ultraviolet images processed by artist Damia Bouic to accompany the text.
Akatsuki Views Venus
Seen in natural color, Venus is as featureless as a cue ball. In ultraviolet wavelengths, a mysterious atmospheric component absorbs sunlight, outlining patterns in Venus’ clouds. Like a weather satellite, Japan’s Akatsuki orbiter swings far from Venus on each 10-day orbit and watches the clouds move through cameras that see in ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths.
After that, astronomer Vishnu Reddy brings us up to speed on how well the United States is doing at detecting and tracking potentially hazardous asteroids. We’ve actually discovered most of the civilization-destroyers; now the hunt is on for the smaller but much more numerous city-killers. Stay tuned for further updates on how the U.S. and Europe are investing in that work.
Members can receive the old-fashioned hard copy in their mailbox, or sign up to receive it electronically. For those of you who aren’t members, don’t fear: the magazine is open-access, viewable here or downloadable in PDF form. Happy reading! And if you want to support our efforts to bring the voices of space explorers to the public, please consider joining or donating to The Planetary Society.