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.


To define the location of objects in the sky, astronomers utilize a system of celestial coordinates, which extends latitude and longitude from Earth's surface into space.

Once upon a time, the sun caught an interstellar orphan and adopted it as its own. It's named 2015 BZ 509.

Some scientists think the existence of plate tectonics could be a prerequisite for life. So do they exist on other planets outside of Earth?

Astronomers have just discovered a gas in Uranus' clouds that does nothing to help the planet being taken seriously.

It's been a while since the sun has hung out with its brothers and sisters in the same stellar nursery, but they're definitely out there, and citizen scientists can help find them.

No one knew exactly what the deal was with ureilites, a rare type of meteorite, until now.

Yep, 'Oumuamua was probably kicked out of its own star system by an overbearing gas giant like Jupiter.

Everyone's heard of the blue moon and the harvest moon, but did you know every single moon of the year has a name? Who named them and what do the names mean?

Scholz's star buzzed our solar system back when humans and Neanderthals roamed the planet. Turns out that encounter may have shaken up a whole bunch of comets.

Beneath Jupiter's famous swirls and stripes is an environment that's completely unlike anything on Earth.

In 2019, the moon will be getting its own 4G network. That could be better service than some of us have here on Earth.

The term "blue moon" dates back to at least the 16th century. Since then, it's had several different definitions, many of which are contradictory. So what's a blue moon today?

It all started with the suspicious behavior of a single star.

All those intrepid colonists are going to need a plentiful supply of water, and it turns out that accessing one may not be as hard as we thought.

The apparently random flashes in the sky known as FRBs have resisted being pinned down by astronomers. Until now.

2018 should be a glorious year to turn your gaze skyward. Here's what to watch for.

It wasn't quite as loud as you might imagine.

When our planet was young, it took a beating from an unrelenting storm of planetesimals falling from the skies. Some of that debris meant more gold for the planet.

How galaxies get their shapes and evolve is widely debated.

The annual Leonid meteor shower is back, and peaks the in the early-morning hours of November 17 and 18. It's made up of tiny bits of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Why not cylindrical? Or even cube-shaped?