October 2021 • Issue 166

Featured Story

Venus is often considered Earth’s hellish twin due to its thick caustic atmosphere, high surface pressure, and hot dry surface environment. Venus has a thick omnipresent cloud layer that is opaque to most orbital sensing methods, which — along with the hellish surface conditions — has prevented it from receiving the attention that Mars or […]  (read more…)

From the Desk of Lori Glaze

As I write, in early October, our Lucy mission is just days away from launch. The next in our line of Discovery missions, Lucy will journey to the Trojan asteroids that have been trapped in stable Lagrange Points, along Jupiter’s orbit, for billions of years. Starting in 2027, Lucy will fly by seven of these […]  (read more…)

New and Noteworthy

Elsevier, 2021, 176 pp., Paperback. $89.95. Ultraviolet Astronomy and the Quest for the Origin of Life addresses the use of astronomical observations in the ultraviolet range to better understand the generation of complex, life-precursor molecules. The origin of RNA is still under debate but seems to be related to the generation of pools of complex […]   (read more…)
Crown, 2020, 288 pp., Hardcover. $28.99. Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum — on the […]   (read more…)