Lots More Information
The Soviets were secretive about their space program. We're telling five of the biggest now.
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?
- Boyle, Alan. "Astronomers Say They've Spotted Lonesome Planet Without a Sun." NBC News. Oct. 9, 2013. (Feb. 16, 2014) http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/astronomers-say-theyve-spotted-lonesome-planet-without-sun-f8C11366309
- Clavin, Whitney. "Stormy Stars? NASA's Spitzer Probes Weather on Brown Dwarfs." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Jan. 7, 2014. (Feb. 13, 2014) http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-005
- Cook, Jia-Rui C., et al. "Hubble Space Telescope Sees Evidence of Water Vapor Venting off Jupiter Moon." NASA. Dec. 12, 2013. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hubble-europa-water-vapor/
- Crockett, Christopher. "Are Galaxies Playing Catch with Black Holes?" Scientific American. July 18, 2013. (Feb. 14, 2014) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/galaxies-playing-catch-with-black-holes/
- Daniels, Patricia. "The New Solar System: Ice Worlds, Moons, and Planets Redefined." National Geographic Publishing. 2009. Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Great Red Spot." (Feb. 13, 2014) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/243638/Great-Red-Spot
- Fazekas, Andrew. "New Biggest Volcano in the Solar System?" National Geographic News. Dec. 3, 2010. (Feb. 19, 2014) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/101203-science-space-biggest-volcano-solar-system-mars/
- Ghafoor, Nadeem, et al. "Wind-driven Surface Waves on Titan." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Vol. 105, no. E5. Page 12,077. May 25, 2000. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://cepsar.open.ac.uk/pers/j.c.zarnecki/pics/d43584.pdf
- Grossman, Lisa. "Seasonal Methane Rain Discovered on Titan." Wired. March 17, 2011. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/03/titan-april-showers/
- Hamilton, Andrew. Professor, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder. Personal correspondence. Feb. 10, 2012.
- Lemonick, Michael. "H2Whoa! Hubble Telescope Finds Geysers of Water on Jupiter's Moon Europa." Time. Dec. 12, 2013. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://science.time.com/2013/12/12/h2whoa-hubble-telescope-finds-geysers-of-water-on-jupiters-moon-of-europa/
- Liu, Michael C., et al. "The Extremely Red, Young L Dwarf PSO J318−22: A Free-Floating Planetary-Mass Analog to Directly Imaged Young Gas-Giant Planets." The Astrophysical Journal Letters. In Press. (Feb. 20, 2014) http://arxiv.org/pdf/1310.0457v2.pdf
- Lorenz, R. D. "Raindrops on Titan." Advances in Space Research. Vol. 15, no. 3. Page 317. 1995. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.121.5220&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Lovett, Richard. "Saturn Moon Has Ice Volcano -- and Maybe Life?" National Geographic. Dec. 15, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/101215-saturn-moon-titan-ice-volcano-nasa-science-pictures/
- Martin, Elizabeth. "A Dictionary of Science (Oxford Paperback Reference)." 4th Ed. Oxford University Press. 2003.
- Miller, Ron. "Seven Wonders of the Rocky Planets and Their Moons." Twenty First Century Books. 2011.
- Mosher, Dave. "'Nomad' Planets More Common Than Thought, May Orbit Black Holes." National Geographic. Feb. 24, 2012. (Feb. 20, 2014) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/120224-rogue-nomad-planets-stars-black-holes-space-science/
- NASA. "Apollo 11 Mission." Lunar and Planetary Institute. (Feb. 14, 2014) http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/missions/apollo/apollo_11/landing_site/
- NASA. "Eris: Overview." (Feb. 16, 2014) https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Dwa_Eris
- NASA. "Giant Stellar Nursery." (Feb. 14, 2014) http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2409.html
- NASA. "Globular Cluster." NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Aug. 9, 2005. (Feb. 14, 2014) http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Glossary/Glossary_G.html
- NASA. "Jupiter." (Feb. 19, 2014) https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Jupiter
- NASA. "Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud: Overview." (Feb. 16, 2014) http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=KBOs
- NASA. "Mars Atlas: Olympus Mons." (Feb. 19, 2014) http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/atlas/olympus-mons.html
- NASA. "NGC 604: Giant Stellar Nursery." Nov. 2, 2002. (Feb. 14, 2014) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021102.html
- NASA. "See Beautiful Ontario Lacus." July 15, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK4n5l7bHSw
- NASA. "The Earth-like Planet Gliese 581g." (Feb. 16, 2014) http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/weekly/7Page40.pdf
- NASA. "Volcanoes on Mars: Tharsis Montes." Lunar and Planetary Institute. (Feb. 19, 2014) http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/slidesets/mvolcan/slide_4.html
- Phillips, Tony. "Free-Floating Planets May Be More Common Than Stars." NASA Science News. May 18, 2011. (Feb. 16, 2014) http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/18may_orphanplanets/
- Phillips, Tony. "Jupiter's New Red Spot." NASA Science News. March 3, 2006. (Feb. 12, 2014) http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/02mar_redjr/
- Rincon, Paul. "Thousand-year Wait for Titan's Methane Rain." BBC News. March 22, 2012. (Feb. 17, 2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17454005
- Torres, Abel Mendez. "Five Potential Habitable Exoplanets Now." Planetary Habitability Laboratory at University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo. Aug. 1, 2012. (Feb. 16, 2014) http://phl.upr.edu/press-releases/fivepotentialhabitableexoplanetsnow