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

  • Toby Melville / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 9/16–9/22

    Record-setting hurricanes, massive protests, a devastating earthquake, and an epic refugee crisis.

  • Hector Retamal / AFP / Getty

    Photos of Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

    On Wednesday, Hurricane Maria crashed across the entire U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, making landfall with winds approaching 150 mph (240 kph).

  • Cathal McNaughton / Reuters

    Southeast Asia's Rohingya Refugee Crisis Reaches a Terrible Peak

    The United Nations Refugee Agency now reports that more than 420,000 people have fled the violence in Burma since August 24.

  • Omar Torres / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Earthquake in Mexico City

    On September 19, 2017, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake shook Mexico City, rattling skyscrapers and sending millions into the streets.

Join the Discussion