The more we learn about our solar system, the more fascinating it becomes. The sun's atmosphere is hotter than its surface. Venus suffers from a greenhouse effect run amok. On Mars, geologic forces unlike those seen on Earth help to sculpt the landscape. Tiny moons stabilize the ethereal rings around the gas giants. Jupiter's satellite Europa has icy niches where life might evolve.
Though astronomers have begun to detect planetary systems around other stars, the uniqueness of ours is so far intact. Many planets in far-off systems seem to be freakishly large and moving in bizarre orbits that would devastate any alien Earths out there. One of the greatest mysteries of our solar system may be why it is so stable.
This special edition of Scientific American provides the latest developments about our corner of the cosmos, in articles written by the experts who are leading the investigations. Let the pages that follow guide your tour of our solar system, and savor the fact that you can visit these extraordinary nearby worlds and still be home for supper. - The Editors
The Paradox of the Sun's Hot Corona by Bhola N. Dwivedi and Kenneth J.H. Phillips
Mercury: The Forgotten Planet by Robert M. Nelson
Global Climate Change on Venus by Mark A. Bullock and David H. Grinspoon
The Origins of Water on Earth by James F. Kasting
The Unearthly Landscapes of Mars by Arden L. Albee
The Small Planets by Erik Asphaug
The Galileo Mission to Jupiter and Its Moons by Torrence V. Johnson
The Hidden Ocean of Europa by Robert T. Pappalardo, James W. Head and Ronald Greeley
Bejeweled Worlds by Joseph A. Burns, Douglas P. Hamilton and Mark R. Showalter
Journey to the Farthest Planet by S. Alan Stern
The Oort Cloud by Paul R. Weissman
* Special editions are not included in the regular subscription.
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