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.

globe of mercury

Insights from S&T‘s Family of Planet Globes

Pictures are great, but there's nothing like holding another world in your hands to appreciate its unique characteristics. True confession: even from childhood, I have always been a map junkie. Sure, I use GPS these days, but my car is still stuffed with road maps. The National Geographic Atlas of the World is not...

Preliminary names shown on the pre-flyby map of Pluto. (Later data releases will result in sharper maps and more precise feature classifications and names.) NASA / JHUAPL / SWRI.

(Unofficially) Naming Pluto

Amidst all the excitement of seeing Pluto’s unique features for the first time, NASA researchers have been using unofficial names to talk science until official terms come down the pipeline.

Asteroids in the inner solar system

Do We Need “Asteroid Day”?

Are we really doing enough to find asteroids, especially the smaller ones that could destroy a city? A private initiative urges a rapid ramp-up of the search effort — but not everyone agrees.