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.


What and where is the dark side of the moon?

The changing phases of the moon have given us an enduring curiosity about the dark side of the moon. But is there really a dark side of the moon? What would we see there?

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?

What if I looked straight at an eclipse of the sun?

You've probably heard that staring at the sun is bad for your eyes. Even a few seconds can damage your eyes. But what if you looked at a solar eclipse?

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.

How the Moon Works

The moon is often the largest object in the sky outside of the sun. What is the moon made of, how did it form -- and why do people blame it for their strange behavior?

How did a meteor make hundreds of people sick?

A ball of fire blazed through southern Peru and left a huge crater -- and then villagers started getting sick. Early reports said the groundwater boiled and the air filled with sulfur. What happened?

10 Memorable Meteor Crashes

Hundred of meteors fly across the sky every night, but only a few make it to Earth. Meteors are best known for the brilliant streaks of light they make as they burn up in the atmosphere. Learn about 10 memorable meteor crashes that left an impression.

How Solar Eclipses Work

A total solar eclipse is a rare event that can be an amazing thing to witness. Learn about solar eclipses and how to observe one safely.

Why is Pluto no longer considered a planet?

Pluto is relatively round and orbits the Sun, so why doesn't it qualify as a planet?

Where did the moon come from?

We know it's not made of green cheese, but what are the origins of the moon? Learn astronomers' theories about where the moon came from.