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The Planetary Report • May/June 1996

SETI: Is Intelligence Commonplace?

On the Cover: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is based on the assumption that intelligence of a technological sort has arisen on more than one planet in our galaxy. On Earth, some forms of life exhibit intelligence; others do not. Ravens have been seen making and using tools; mushrooms and algae have not. Dolphins, like humans, have evolved a complex language, and bonobos display many behaviors remarkably similar to human activities. But of all the life-forms that have come and gone on Earth, only one has built radio telescopes to listen for signals from other life-forms. The likelihood of a similar life-form existing on another planet is a topic for lively debate.
Clockwise from left: Diana L. Stratton, David M. Dennis, Randy Morse, Mike Bacon and Roy Toft (all Tom Stack & Associates). Bottom: Seth Shostak


4 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Scientific Quest or Hopeful Folly? Ernst Mayr and Carl Sagan present opposing sides of this debate.

14 New Eyes for Mars: Testing Cameras for the Mars '96 Mission: Gerhard Neukum gives a preview of the system that will soon be showing us the landscape of the Red Planet.

16 Fly to Saturn With Cassini: Society Members Invited Along: Charlene Anderson explains how you can fly to Saturn!


3 Members' Dialogue A letter from a New Millennium committee member; giving due credit.

17 World Watch Preparations for multiple Mars missions; NASA budget woes continue.

18 News & Reviews Comet Hyakutake and Pluto.

19 Society News More opportunities to get involved with Society events and activities.

20 Q&A A special edition devoted to telling time.

Bill Nye and people
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