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.

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.

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  • Is there really a face on Mars?

    Is there really a face on Mars?

    After Viking 1 captured images of what looked like a face on Mars, the public began to speculate. Had Martians carved a colossus, or was there another answer? See more »

  • Is there really water on Mars?

    Is there really water on Mars?

    Until recently, most people assumed that if Mars had liquid water, it no longer did and hadn't for quite some time. But scientists have recently noticed some anomalies in photos of Mars that may suggest there is water. Could there be life, too? See more »

  • Jupiter Explained

    Jupiter Explained

    Jupiter is the largest planet and is fifth from the sun. It is the third-brightest spot in our skies--after the sun and Venus. Jupiter is made up almost entirely of gas, which means it doesn't have a solid surface like Earth does. See more »

  • Neptune Explained

    Neptune Explained

    Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, the fourth largest, and a gas planet. It is named after the Roman god of the sea. Neptune is four times the size of Earth, and its day lasts a little more than16 hours. Its year is about 165 Earth years. Neptune's orbit is a perfect circle. The last stop on spacecraft Voyager's epic trip through the solar system was the gas giant Neptune. See more »

  • Pluto: Pariah, Planet or Just Pretty Cool?

    Pluto: Pariah, Planet or Just Pretty Cool?

    One minute it's a planet, the next minute it isn't. Are you up-to-date on planetary pop culture? Take this quiz and find out! See more »

  • Spaced Out: Mars Quiz

    Spaced Out: Mars Quiz

    Since the 19th century, humans have wondered about the prospect of life on Mars. While we haven't sent anyone to the Martian surface, we have sent spacecrafts, which have gathered a good amount of information on what it's like on Mars. How is it different from Earth? How is it similar? And could life really have existed there long ago, or exist in the future? See more »

  • The Fastest Quiz You'll Ever Take

    The Fastest Quiz You'll Ever Take

    Make haste, poky person! Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the speediest stuff in the universe. See more »

  • The Ultimate Moon Quiz

    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? See more »

  • Uranus Explained

    Uranus Explained

    Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun, and is named for the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens, the earliest supreme god. It is the third largest planet in the solar system, and is three times as large as Earth. See more »

  • Venus Explained

    Venus Explained

    Venus is the second planet from the sun, and is about the same size as Earth. It is a terrestrial planet, meaning it has a solid surface. But the harsh conditions on Venus make it very inhospitable. Two spacecraft, Pioneer Venus 1 and Magellan, were able to penetrate the thick atmosphere of this planet. See more »

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