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.

Formation of the Moon

When and How Did the Moon Form?

New studies offer contrasting scenarios for making the Moon. One argues for a one big splat early in solar-system history; a second envisions a score of lesser blows that built up the Moon over time; and a third suggests water was involved.

The blank Sun seen on January 12 by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. SDO/HMI

The Spotless Sun

The Sun has been unusually quiet lately. Since the start of 2017, only a single tiny sunspot has made a brief appearance on the solar disk.