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Mercury: The Forgotten Planet

Although one of Earth's nearest neighbors, this strange world remains, for the most part, unknown

By Robert M. Nelson

Global Climate Change on Venus

Venus's climate, like Earth's, has varied overtime--the result of newly appreciated connections between geologic activity and atmospheric change

By David H. Grinspoon and Mark A. Bullock

The Origins of Water on Earth

Evidence is mounting that other planets hosted oceans at one time, but ONLY EARTH has maintained its watery endowment

By James F. Kasting

Bejeweled Worlds

What an impoverished universe it would be if Saturn and the other giant planets lacked rings. Planetary scientists are finally working out how gravity has sculpted these elegant ornaments

By Douglas P. Hamilton, Joseph A. Burns and Mark R. Showalter

The Oort Cloud

On the outskirts of the solar system swarms a vast cloud of comets, influenced almost as much by other stars as by our sun. The dynamics of this cloud may help explain such matters as mass extinctions on Earth

By Paul R. Weissman

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