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.


Jupiter: Yokozuna of Gas Giants, Banisher of Planets

Sometimes you can't be afraid to throw an elbow, even if you're a planet.

Are We Ready? 'The Martian' Can Teach Us About Planetary Survival

Mars expert Robert Zubrin looks at the bestselling novel "The Martian"—and the new Matt Damon movie—for hazards interplanetary explorers would face.

What's an accretion disk?

When you think about massive, mysterious cosmic bodies like accretion disks, the water swirling around your bathtub probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. But hey, physics works the same magic on all scales.

What if we had no moon?

A billion years ago, the moon stopped being geologically active. But that's not to say that the moon is doing nothing for us. Let's find out why we owe our moon some thank-yous.

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.

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.

What happens when the sun eats a comet?

Do the two meet for one final, fantastic explosion? Or maybe the sun just gets a bit of wind? Or maybe nothing of consequence happens at all? Only one way to find out.

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?

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.

Will orbital chaos cause Earth, Venus and Mars to collide?

It's not a pleasant thought, is it? But when you mix chaos theory with a few crazy cosmologists, those tidy, predictable orbits start getting lively.