Around the Solar System

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 -- and one new rover recently landed on Mars. 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 great shots from the new Mars rover Curiosity, a parting shot of the asteroid Vesta, some glimpses of Saturn and its 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

  • Ostariyanov / Shutterstock, The Atlantic

    The Most 2018 Photos Ever

    A collection of photographs that are just so 2018.

  • Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty

    It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

    A collection of holiday cheer and light wrapped up in 35 photographs

  • Danish Ismail / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Sweet Spill, Bovine Rescue, Miss Universe

    Big waves in Portugal, holiday lights in Europe, images from the asteroid Bennu, a flight with Virgin Galactic, a giant middle finger in Vermont, and much more

  • USGS / Reuters

    2018: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.