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Planetary Science

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Venus

BLUE MARBLE  From the outside, you would never know how hostile Venus’ surface is. This false-color image of Venus from the Akatsuki spacecraft shows a cloud-covered atmosphere as complex and dynamic as Earth’s.

Mars

DUSTUP A dust storm (right) captured by the Mars Global Surveyor in 2001 swirls over much of the Red Planet. These storms are helping hydrogen from water vapor escape from the Red Planet, a new study finds.

Mars ice

LOOK OUT BELOW  Erosion is revealing vast ice deposits in cliffs on Mars. The ice (white streaks in this image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) is buried under just a meter or two of soil, meaning it could be relatively easy to access on future missions.

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