A Trip Around Our Solar System

Robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information for us right now all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn; several others on their way to smaller bodies; and a few on their way out of the solar system entirely. On Mars, a rover called Spirit has just been officially left for dead, after two years of radio silence from it -- but its twin, Opportunity, continues on its mission, now more than 2,500 days beyond its originally planned 90-days. With all these eyes in the sky, I'd like to take the opportunity to put together a photo album of our Solar system -- a set of family portraits, of sorts -- as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries.

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

Most Recent

  • Garry Ridsdale / Smithsonian.com

    Smithsonian Magazine's 2016 Photo Contest

    The editors of Smithsonian magazine have just announced the finalists in their 14th annual photo contest, selected from more than 378,000 entries sent in from 236 countries.

  • Library of Congress

    Holes Punched Through History

    In the 1930s, Roy Stryker, head of the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration, used an unusual and destructive technique to “kill” unwanted photos—punch a hole right through the negative.

  • Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty

    Carnival 2017 Around the World

    Carnival season is under way across Europe and the Americas.

  • Matt Eich

    A Husband Captures His Wife's World

    Photographs of Melissa Eich, a speech pathologist in Charlottesville, Virginia, taken by her husband Matt Eich

Join the Discussion