Solar System

We live in an amazing planetary system. From the yawning Valles Marineris on Mars and the subsurface ocean hiding beneath the ice crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa, to the eerily Earth-like terrain of Saturn’s moon Titan, the solar system brims with wonders. And let’s not forget the Sun, with its mysteriously hot corona and its solar flares.

Here you’ll find the latest news from our ongoing exploration of the solar system. Whether it be stunning pictures from NASA’s Curiosity rover or new revelations about planets’ history and formation, we bring you authoritative reports on the coolest and most important developments in planetary science and heliophysics.

Alan Stern awaits New Horizons's launch

New Horizons: Navigating to Pluto

In the first of a series of installments written exclusively for Sky & Telescope, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern offers his behind-the-scenes perspective on what it took to get the spacecraft to Pluto.

Comet 67P's terrain types

Rosetta Reveals Much About Comet 67P

Once the Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last August, European scientists used an array of instruments to assess every nook and cranny of the remarkable two-lobed nucleus.

Rosetta’s lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic. The full panoramic from CIVA will be delivered in this afternoon’s press briefing at 13:00 GMT/14:00 CET.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Rosetta Update: Philae Landed in a Hole

The exact location of Philae’s landing site remains unknown, though the site’s topography might allow the lander to operate longer than planned. Meanwhile, Rosetta is detecting organics and heavy elements even when Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko is far from the Sun.