THE SOLAR SYSTEM

In the Solar System Channel, you can explore the planets and celestial objects around our own sun. Learn about topics such as Mars, Jupiter and the Moon.
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The Ultimate Moon Quiz

Wolves supposedly howl at it, a fairy tale claims a cow once jumped over it and legends say if you look hard enough, there's a man in it. Yes, the moon has a prominent place in popular culture, but there's a lot you might not know about Earth's little orbiting friend. Why doesn't it have soil? Why is its gravity so important? And are we really thinking of going back soon?

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  • 10 Fastest Things in the Universe

    10 Fastest Things in the Universe

    Leash your cheetah, buckle your seatbelt and tell Usain Bolt to take a knee. We're about to power through some of the speediest stuff this universe – both in the real world and in fiction – has to offer. See more »

  • 10 Ways to Stop a Killer Asteroid

    10 Ways to Stop a Killer Asteroid

    Killer asteroids are all fun and games -- until they're headed for Earth. How do we stop cosmic hot potatoes from wiping out our planet? See more »

  • Are major solar flares coming in 2012?

    Are major solar flares coming in 2012?

    Doomsday theorists might expect 2012 to be a year of ray-gun-style solar flares, but their assumptions aren't at all backed up by science. What are solar flares, and what happens if they really do hit the Earth? See more »

  • Can someone own the moon?

    Can someone own the moon?

    A lunar land rush is the most likely thing in the world (or, rather, out of it). As private companies gaze spaceward with dollar signs in their eyes, it's time to start settling some questions about space ownership, use and management. See more »

  • Could an extremely powerful solar flare destroy all the electronics on Earth?

    Could an extremely powerful solar flare destroy all the electronics on Earth?

    The occasional sunspot can interrupt communications here on Earth. But major solar flares have the potential to cause more havoc. Could a flare-up wipe out all our electronics? See more »

  • Could we stop an asteroid on a collision course toward Earth?

    Could we stop an asteroid on a collision course toward Earth?

    We can't defy the odds of an asteroid taking a turn for Earth forever, so the world's astronomers watch the sky. What happens once they spot something? See more »

  • Did the moon doom the Titanic?

    Did the moon doom the Titanic?

    One tragic, moonless night in April 1912, the Titanic slid into the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean -- for good. A crew of Texas State academics suggested that Earth's favorite satellite may have some explaining to do. See more »

  • Does it rain on other planets?

    Does it rain on other planets?

    Precipitation does fall from the clouds of other planets, but it's a little more exotic than the good, old-fashioned rainwater we get here on Earth. Imagine sheets of methane, sulfuric acid and, yes, even diamonds falling from the sky. See more »

  • How Asteroid Belts Work

    How Asteroid Belts Work

    Asteroid belts aren't quite the dense fields of gigantic spinning rocks that you may have seen in a "Star Wars" film, but they're still fascinating. In fact, the main asteroid belt may tell us how our entire solar system came into existence. See more »

  • How big does a meteor have to be to make it to the ground?

    How big does a meteor have to be to make it to the ground?

    Where I live it is pretty common to see "shooting stars" -- streaks of light in the sky at night. How big is a shooting star? Do they land on earth or do they burn up? Do they land on the ground as meteorites? See more »

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