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, a comet, and Saturn, and two operational rovers 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 a multiple transit of Jupiter, great close-up images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as tantalizing new images of the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, as two different probes near them​, and, of course, 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

  • Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty

    Disconnected by Disaster—Photos From a Battered Puerto Rico

    Five days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, its devastating impact is becoming clearer.

  • Pedro Pardo / AFP / Getty

    Rescue Dogs At Work After Mexico's Earthquakes

    After being struck by three major earthquakes in the past month, rescue workers and volunteers across Mexico have been working around the clock, with the help of local and international teams of sniffer dogs and their handlers.

  • 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).

Join the Discussion