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The Planetary Report • March/April 1994

Venus—Uncovering Her Secrets

On the Cover: The Magellan spacecraft returned many different types of data. Researchers on Earth can manipulate these data to produce spectacular images that tell them much about the planet—but bear little resemblance to how the planet would appear to a human looking down upon it. This image of an unnamed volcano in the equatorial region of Venus combines a radar map with measurements of the radio emissions from the surface. These measurements contain clues to the nature of the surface materials; red here corresponds to strong emissions; blue, to weak. By comparing topographic features with these data, scientists can begin unraveling some of the mysteries of Venus.


4 No Space for NASA: Nicholas Wade asks: With the Cold War over, what reasons are left to continue exploration?

6 Orbital Maneuvers: Magellan Aerobrakes Into Venus' Atmosphere: David Doody presents the newest tasks for the Magellan mission—to map the planet's gravity.

14 Laurel Wilkening Joins Planetary Society's Board of Directors: James Burke introduces this distinguished scientist and university administrator to our members.

15 Mining the Air: How Far Have We Progressed? Kumar Ramohalli gives us a look at the progress in this exciting technology.


3 Members' Dialogue Challenging the Society to achieve even more.

16 News & Reviews The latest on Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

17 World Watch Budgetary challenges for the U.S. and Russia.

18 Readers' Service A book of essays exploring human nature.

19 Society News Upcoming events.

20 Q&A Titan's atmosphere; using radar to hunt for life beyond Earth.

Bill Nye and people
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