The Planetary Report • November/December 1991

Pieces of the Sky

On the Cover: We glimpse the ancient past through rocks that have survived their fall through Earth's atmosphere. Some of these meteorites, a type called carbonaceous chondrites, contain material virtually unaltered since the formation of our solar system. In this sample from the Allende meteorite, which fell in 1969, the 0.5-millimeter spherical chondrules appear in a dark, carbon-rich matrix. Some carbonaceous chondrites contain complex organiC molecules, including amino acids, the building blocks of carbon-based life.


4 Killer Rocks and the Celestial Police: The Search for Near-Earth Asteroids: Donald Yeomans looks at the history and future of monitoring for potential suspects.

8 Asteroids and Comets in Near-Earth Space: Richard Binzel discusses how studying these seemingly unrelated bodies can tell us about the origins of our solar system.

12 It's a Small, Small World: Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Donald Davis and Alan Friedlander make the case for why we should go to these potentially valuable objects.

16 The Sky is Falling: The Hazard of Near-Earth Asteroids: John Pike explains the potential threat of our flyby neighbors.

20 Prospecting the Future: The Planetary Society Asteroid Program: Charlene Anderson and Louis Friedman introduce a new Society effort to look for near-Earth asteroids.


3 Members' Dialogue Commentary on Russian and European space efforts.

23 World Watch Freedom vs. space missions, Galileo's antenna, and the Kamchatka rover tests.

25 State of The Planetary Society A report to our members.

26 News & Reviews Cosmic catastrophes.

27 Society Notes Asteroid contest winner; help with the Mars rover test in the Mojave Desert.

28 Q&A Can Magellan's radar detect volcanic vents on Venus?

The Planetary Report • November/December 1991

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