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.

Hayabusa 2 spacecraft

Hayabusa 2 is Asteroid Bound

Japan's second asteroid-sample mission launched successfully on December 3rd after weather delays. If successful it will reach asteroid 1999 JU3 in 2018, explore for 18 months, and then return to Earth with souvenirs.

1996 PW's comet-like orbit

Eight Billion Asteroids in the Oort Cloud?

A fresh look at a nagging problem — asteroids moving in comet-like orbits — concludes that asteroids must make up about 4% of the vast, distant Oort Cloud of comets. When a telescope atop Hawaii's Haleakala swept up a fast-moving object in August 1996, astronomers didn't know what to make of it. Designated 1996...

Curious lunar feature Ina D

(Geologically) Recent Volcanoes on the Moon?

Images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show dozens of small, curious features that might be volcanic eruptions in the past 50 to 100 million years. Countless astronomers, both amateur and professional, have spent untold hours scrutinizing the Moon through telescopes for hints of volcanic activity. Numerous claims of "transient lunar phenomena" (TLP) have been...

This image shows an artist concept of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN)  spacecraft, which reached the Red Planet on September 21, 2014.Lockheed Martin

MAVEN Makes It to Mars

On September 21st, after a 33-minute-long rocket firing, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slipped into orbit around the Red Planet.