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The Planetary Report • January/February 2005

Nature's Canvas

On the Cover: In a portrait created by light and gravity, lonely Mimas is visible against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn’s northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn’s night side. Images taken with red, green, and blue filters were combined to create this color view. The images were taken with Cassini’s Narrow-Angle Camera on November 7, 2004 from a distance of 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 22 kilometers (14 miles) per pixel.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute


6 Exploring the Unknown: Huygens' Plunge Through Titan's Atmosphere: Jean-Pierre Lebreton describes what we know so far about this unusual moon and details the probe's harrowing mission of exploration.

14 A Suborbital Search for Vulcanoids: Dan Durda provides a personal account of what happened during this innovative test and explains why Vulcanoids remain a mystery.


3 Members' Dialogue Human vs. robotic space exploration

4 We Make it Happen! Cosmos 1 and our solar sail

19 World Watch NASA's budget, making Moon-to-Mars exploration more international, and SMART-1

20 Q&A How many NEOs have we tracked? What's going on at Saturn's south pole?

22 Society News Mars Watch Art Contest winner; the Society Board elects new officers

Bill Nye and people
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