A Trip Across the Solar System

Right at this moment, robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn. Several others are on their way to smaller bodies, and a few are heading out of the solar system entirely. Although the Space Shuttle no longer flies, astronauts are still at work aboard the International Space Station, performing experiments and sending back amazing photos. With all these eyes in the sky, I'd like to take another opportunity to put together a recent photo album of our solar system -- a set of family portraits, of sorts -- as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. This time, we have some closer views of the asteroid Vesta, a visit to the durable (if dusty) Mars rover Opportunity, some glimpses of Saturn's moons, and lovely images of our home, planet Earth.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 4/30-5/6

    A drought in India, a rescue in Nairobi, wildfires in Alberta, the Olympic Torch in a Brazilian pool, a hoverboard record set in France, and much more.

  • Chris Schwarz / Government of Alberta / Reuters

    The Massive Wildfire Burning in Alberta

    All week long, raging wildfires have swept across neighborhoods and forests of the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.

  • Aly Song / Reuters

    Shanghai's Holdout Neighborhood of Guangfuli

    Reuters photographer Aly Song recently visited a small neighborhood in Shanghai—a remnant patch of smaller houses and shops where residents live in homes surrounded by a concrete wall and looming skyscrapers on all sides.

  • Thierry Bornier / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

    2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

    The Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now underway at National Geographic, and entries will be accepted until the end of the month, May 27, 2016.

Join the Discussion