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10 Reasons Why Space Exploration Matters to You
Yes, we have some amazing inventions thanks to space exploration, and we're curious about life on other planets. But the cosmos also touches a deeper part of our psyches. Read more »
Author's Note: 10 Space Landmarks We'd Like to Visit

When compiling a list so close to my heart, the hardest part is settling on only 10 destinations. Had I had more space, I might have recommended visiting the crater-cutting cliff of Mercury's Beagle Rupes, or seeing what destruction Venus' temperatures and pressures have wrought on the Venera probes. Moon-wise, I'd have dispatched you to Jupiter's Ganymede, which is so large (three-quarters the size of Mars) that it would be considered a planet if it orbited the sun; pizza-faced, volcanic Io; the ridges of Saturn's Iapetus; or Neptune's moon, Triton, a nitrogen-frosted cantaloupe orbiting at 157 degrees to the orbital plane, which one day might go to pieces and grant its planet even grander rings than Saturn.

More exotic delights beckoned beyond the solar system, including Hoag's Object, a strange ring galaxy, and its thematic counterpart, the "Eye of Sauron" created by a luminous ring orbiting the star Fomalhaut. There was the pink planet, GJ 504b, or the blacker-than-pitch planet, TrES-2b, or the hellscapes of KIC 12557548 b, Kepler-36c or HD 189773b. In the end, space is too amazing and terrifying to be contained in one list, so I hope some of you reading this will view it as a jumping-off point for your own adventure. At risk of being called corny, I'll close with the following thought: The Ship of the Imagination is all fueled-up. What's on your itinerary?

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