On January 24th, 1986, Voyager 2 swept past our system’s seventh planet, Uranus, on its way through the solar system. It was the first and last time we visited the gas giant, and we found it’s one of the stranger locations in our solar system.
There could be a new ninth planet floating beyond the dark edges of our solar system, according to new research published in The Astronomical Journal from CalTech professors Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin.
A pair of new studies claim to have discovered two of the most distant objects ever seen in the outer reaches of the Solar System, including a “Super Earth” located six times further away than Pluto. It’s an extraordinary claim — and it’s also highly unlikely.
Water ice from a subterranean ocean? Giant salt deposits from an alien mining operation? Since March, dwarf planet Ceres’ bright spots have mystified scientists, dazzled space nerds, and sparked all manner of wild speculation. A study published today in Nature has the answers we’ve been waiting for. Ceres, you are one…
Whoosh! Did you see that? It may look a bit scrappy, but the tiny white projectile at the center of the animation below—officially called 1994 JR1— is a cosmic time capsule, brought to you by a piano-sized spacecraft over 3 billion miles away. You’re looking at the closest picture yet of a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) by…
Our biggest planet in the solar system is also one of the best: it’s got crazy weather systems, it’s probably saved Earth from enormous impacts, and it’s got hundreds of moons orbiting it. The Atlantic goes over all the ways Jupiter is their favorite planet.
I’m at a loss for words. This project and accompanying short film, To Scale: The Solar System by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh, is so incredibly awe-inspiring and so beautifully executed, that it will make me dream of the cosmos tonight (maybe every night). The premise is simple: to build a solar system model to…
Yesterday, we looked at an interactive infographic on the relative orbits of everything in the solar system. Today, let’s compare the planets to one another. This site shows us how all of the solar system’s planets (and Pluto) stack up.
Pluto has been puzzling us with its weirdly smooth surface, but if it’s the first Kuiper Belt Object we’ve visited, how did we know how many craters to expect in the first place? Here’s everything we’ve figured out about collisions in this chaotic area of our Solar System.
New Horizons is just days away from Pluto, and it’s beaming back some incredible images. In the latest set, the probe has shown us that the dwarf planet has two distinct hemispheres, along with some new detail on the darker spots.
What happens when a planetary scientist has a love for order? He creates code that sorts everything from our solar system’s moons to exoplanets into graceful spirals where every object is slightly smaller than the one before. Astronomical knolling is my new favourite way to contemplate the vast scale of space.
We humans are doing a bang-up job of messing up our home planet. But who’s to say we can’t go on to screw things up elsewhere? Here, not listed in any particular order, are 12 unintentional ways we could do some serious damage to our Solar System, too.
You are witnessing the formation of a solar system just like ours, 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Taurus, as photographed in detail for the first time in history by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array international observatory in Chile. I'm absolutely stunned.
I never thought of this, but you can fit all the planets in the Solar System back to back into the distance from the Earth to the Moon—about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers)—with room to spare: 4,990 miles (8,030 kilometers.) Seeing it visualized really give you a good idea of how much empty space is out there.
With Rosetta hanging out so closely with an asteroid, we're getting better views than ever before of what the surface of an asteroid looks like. But compared to one another, how do the surfaces we've visited in our Solar System stack up?
In the 19th century, astronomers believed that solar systems formed in nebular clouds throughout the universe. But 20th century scientists rejected that idea, arguing that our solar system was an aberration. This mistake derailed the search for exoplanets, and extraterrestrials, for decades.
As usual, xkcd wins the internet with another brilliant scientific visualization: All the solid surfaces (the planetary, moon, and asteroid crusts) in the Solar System stitched together as if it all were a seamless flat map. It's fascinating to see it all from this simple perspective.
From tiny balls of rock to giant egg-shaped objects, there's a rich and varied array of alien worlds that sit outside the orbit of Neptune. You're looking at the ones that the European Space Agency's satellite Herschel has spotted.
One day, poor planet Earth will succumb to the centuries of abuse we've dealt her, shrivel up, and cease to support life. Then, if we're not already living in some Elysium-like habitat in space, we'll have to find a new home. Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, might just be it.
Now this is fun. Kurzgesagt made a fantastic animation video detailing our solar system. Perfect for anyone who's space curious (and that should be everyone), perfect to sit down and show your kid, perfect to learn everything about astronomy that you probably forgotten by now. It's like taking a trip through a…