RESOURCES: Out-of-This-World Geology

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Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5578.19d

Smothering dust storms on Mars, pristine impact craters on Venus, possible liquid water on Jupiter's moon Europa—Earth isn't the only place that piques the interest of geologists. Dig into the geology of the planets, moons, and asteroids in our neighborhood at the new home page for the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) Astrogeology Research Program.

Although the site's focus is USGS's own research, the offerings include more general information, from brief overviews of NASA missions to maps and reports for specific planets and moons. Stop by the Venus section, for instance, to scan a database that provides the name, size, location, and type for the planet's nearly 1000 known craters. You can peruse a gazetteer of accepted names for surface features or create your own map of a particular venusian landscape. Links lead to NASA or USGS images and to other informative sites. You can also pore over results of missions such as Voyager and Mars Pathfinder, which snapped this austere panorama of the Red Planet in 1997 (left).

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