The Planetary Report • September/October 2008

A New Mercury Revealed

On the Cover: On January 14, 2008, <i>MESSENGER</i> became the first spacecraft to visit Mercury since <i>Mariner 10</i> flew by in 1974 and 1975. This color composite view is constructed of images <i>MESSENGER</i> captured about 80 minutes prior to closest approach, from roughly 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles) out. The sunlit area was imaged by <i>Mariner 10</i>, but under different lighting conditions. This image and other <i>MESSENGER</i> data will give us a detailed, global view of Mercury, revealing much about the planet closest to the Sun.


4 Phoenix: Success in the Martian Arctic: Bruce Betts reports on the preliminary results from the Mars lander.

8 Out of This World Books: Mars, Titan, the history of NASA, and the end of the world.

12 MESSENGER Arrives at Mercury: Ralph L. McNutt and Sean C. Solomon give us our first close-up look at Mercury since the 1970s.


11 World Watch Budget woes of NASA and Russia, and the importance of observing Earth

18 Members' Dialogue Comments on Earth's climate change

19 Society News Weddings, Japan, and video games

20 Q&A Magma on the young Moon, Phoenix's DVD, and the Tunguska event

21 Factinos Titan's lakes and Enceladus' plumes

22 2009 Planetary Society Catalogue Posters, caps, and models, oh my!

The Planetary Report • September/October 2008

View Table of Contents

Help advance space science and exploration! Become a member of The Planetary Society and you'll receive the full PDF and print versions of The Planetary Report.