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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In recent years, Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most moons in our solar system. How many does it have and could it have even more?

By Valerie Stimac

You know Saturn and Venus and Mars and ... some others. Can you put the eight planets of the solar system in the correct order? There are several ways to do this.

By Valerie Stimac

Scientists at Yale are using "quantum squeezing" to reduce "noise" in their search for dark matter.

By Benjamin Brubaker

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Surely you've watched tons of sunsets in your lifetime. But have you ever seen the sunset and the moonrise simultaneously? Is that even possible?

By Sharise Cunningham

Everyone's heard of the blue moon and the harvest moon, but did you know every full moon of the year has a name? What are the names and when do the moons occur?

By Nathan Chandler

Whether it's a solar eclipse, a meteor shower or the launch of the long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope, 2021 has a lot to offer.

By Valerie Stimac

All of the planets in the solar system are named for Greek gods, except Earth. So where did the name come from?

By Mark Mancini

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The Quadrantids are a short but powerful meteor shower that shows up in early January. How can you glimpse it?

By Valerie Stimac

A magnetar is a neutron star with a super-strong magnetic field. Astronomers consider them among the scariest objects in the universe, but why?

By Valerie Stimac

You might call it a Christmas miracle. Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely they may look like a double planet. The last time we saw this was in 1226.

By Valerie Stimac

The annual Leonid meteor shower is back, and peaks in the early-morning hours of November 17. It's made up of tiny bits of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Here's how to see it.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Every autumn, Earth passes through a stream of debris left by Halley's comet, resulting in nighttime meteor showers in mid-October. The best time this year is Oct. 21.

By Patrick J. Kiger

It's a celestial gift in the middle of August. Just look up for a spectacular sight.

By Christopher Hassiotis

In 1953, CalTech geochemist Clair Patterson came up with an estimate for Earth's age that still holds today.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and sits on an axial plane tilted at a jaw-dropping 97.7-degree angle. And yes, Uranus does actually stink.

By Mark Mancini

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The moon has seen a lot in its 4.5 million years of life, and a detailed new geologic map serves as testament.

By Jesslyn Shields

Every April, the Lyrid meteor shower fills the sky with shooting stars. Here's how to see them in 2021.

By Mark Mancini

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It has an amazing ring system and 82 moons! And did we mention that it's an oblong world that appears squished looking?

By Mark Mancini

NASA and the European Space Agency's new Solar Orbiter will travel as close as 26 million miles to the sun to get the first glimpses of its north and south poles.

By Mark Mancini

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Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, and one of the coldest. It also has supersonic winds that are the fastest in the solar system.

By Mark Mancini

The Geminid meteor shower is one of the year's stronger displays in terms of number and size of meteors. When's the best time to see it?

By Christopher Hassiotis

The atmospheric pressure is crushingly extreme on Venus, and lead would melt into a puddle on its surface. But as hellish as this place sounds, it actually has a lot in common with Earth.

By Mark Mancini

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Big as it is though, next to the sun, Jupiter looks puny.

By Mark Mancini

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As the search for Planet Nine wears on, and astronomers have yet to get so much as a glimpse of it, researchers are pondering what else the object might be.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

The galaxy has sent another tumbling chunk of frozen interstellar material our way.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.