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Space Topics

Section Highlights

Space Missions

News and facts about the spacecraft that have explored the planets beyond Earth.

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Compare the Planets

Comparing the physical characteristics of the planets and other things in our solar system (and beyond)

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Space Imaging

Most deep-space missions carry cameras to acquire scientific data; but these data can also be used to produce stunning views of distant worlds. And almost all of this data is free and readily available to the public for download.

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Citizen Science

Citizen Science projects harness the efforts of thousands of space enthusiasts to amass data sets that no single scientist could ever produce.

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Our Sun

The Sun is a variable star with an 11-year cycle of storm and quiet activity.

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Mercury

Planet Mercury orbits closest to the Sun, and has had only two visitors: MESSENGER and Mariner 10.

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Venus

It's our nearest neighbor and a near twin to Earth in size and composition. But, compared to the rest of the terrestrial worlds, we know little about Venus.

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Our Moon

The Moon, destination of the Apollo program, now the proving ground for a new generation of space-faring nations.

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Mars

Science of Mars and its exploration by orbiters and rovers Curiosity and Opportunity

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Asteroids and Comets

Asteroids in the main belt or near Earth; comets in the Kuiper belt or visiting the Sun; near-Earth objects and the impact hazard they represent

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Outer Planets

Outer Planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have retinues of moons and rings that make them like mini-solar systems.

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Pluto's Neighborhood

Pluto's Neighborhood: Kuiper Belt, Dwarf Planets, Centaurs, and Sedna

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Extrasolar Planets

Extrasolar planets being discovered by Kepler and the world's great telescopes

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Life in the Universe

Could humans be the only intelligent beings in all the vastness of the universe? Or are we just one humble race, a member of a vast intergalactic fraternity of advanced civilizations? Is there other life in the solar system, or are we alone?

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