The Planetary Report • November/December 2009

Beginning Anew

On the Cover: Within the southern constellation Carina, located 7,500 light-years away, is a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina nebula. There looms this three-light-year-long pillar cloud of dense material, which is shaped by its interaction with radiation from stars both in and outside it. Radiation from exterior stars is disrupting the outer parts of the cloud, producing filamentary green and blue colors. The radiation is also compressing the cloud, inducing star birth. This image was taken in visible light by the Hubble Space Telescope's new Wide Field Camera (WFC3). For an infrared view of the same object, see page 12.


4 LightSail: A New Way and a New Chance to Fly on Light: Louis Friedman details this exciting project being undertaken by The Planetary Society.

10 2009–The Year in Pictures: Emily Lakdawalla showcases stunning space images from this past year.

17 We Make it Happen! Wrapping Up 2009 Bruce Betts reports on the society's 2009 projects.


18 What’s Up? Planets and meteor showers.

20 Q&A Can we clean solar panels on future Mars rovers?

22 Society News A new book on Mars, penned a Planetary Society member Kevin Nolan.

23 Members' Dialogue The space exploration debate and the hunt for exoplanets.

The Planetary Report • November/December 2009

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.