The Planetary Report • March Equinox 2012

Fascinating Mars

On the Cover: A century after Percival Lowell created his iconic drawings of Mars—records of his telescopic observations from atop an Arizona mountain—we know the place better than any other world in the solar system, save for Earth. Many of today’s Mars explorers were inspired by the pioneering work of early astronomers like Lowell and science fiction writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs. The evolution of humankind’s view of the Red Planet is reflected in this 1908 Lowell map overlaid on a global mosaic from Viking 1.


7 Stepping Lightly to the Stars: Louis Friedman suggests a practical plan for the next hundred years of spaceflight.

Planetary Society Kids: Could plants live on Mars? Did You Know Haumea?

14 John Carter of Mars: Charlene M. Anderson discusses a lifelong love of science fiction with writer/director Andrew Stanton.

18 Save Science in NASA: An in-depth look at what the proposed 2013 NASA budget means, and what Society members can do to help. By Charlene M. Anderson

20 Planets Around Alpha Centauri? Bruce Betts reports on fiber-optic “scramblers” and planet hunting with smaller (relatively speaking) telescopes.


2 Snapshots from Space Images from Japan’s Hiten.

4 Your Place in Space Bill Nye tells how he wants you to get involved with planetary exploration.

6 Planetary Radio Catch up with what has happened on Planetary Radio recently.

13 Factinos Habitable zones in the Milky Way; molecular oxygen on Dione.

21 What’s Up? Transits and eclipses.

22 Volunteer Spotlight Danielle Hannah points out wonderful things that our Regional Volunteer Coodinators are doing.

23 MySky Members’ photos of the sky.

The Planetary Report • March Equinox 2012

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