Where did we come from? Are we alone in the Universe? We can only answer these questions by exploring the planets and other worlds of our solar system and beyond. Learn why these worlds are so important, and how you can get involved.
The Sun, our Solar System’s star
Our Sun is an active star, frequently bursting out storms of plasma and radiation into the Solar System.
Mercury, world of extremes
Mercury can teach us how planets form and what the early solar system was like when life arose on Earth.
Venus, Earth's twin sister
Venus may have had oceans and been habitable to life before being transformed into an inhospitable wasteland.
Earth, our home planet
Earth, the only planet known to support life, offers liquid water, an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and protection from the Sun’s harmful radiation.
The Moon, preserving Earth's origin story
The Moon is the only world besides Earth ever visited by humans. By studying it, scientists can piece together Earth’s origin story.
Mars once had liquid water on the surface and could have supported life. We don't know how it changed to the cold, dry desert-world it is today.
Asteroids, comets, and other small worlds
These leftover planet-building materials are time capsules that give us a peek into our origins.
Jupiter, the planet with a planetary system of its own
Jupiter, our largest planet, teaches us how planetary systems evolve. Its four planet-like moons make it a planetary system of its own.
Io, Jupiter’s chaotic volcano moon
Io, one of Jupiter's four Galilean moons, is known for its explosivity.
Europa, Jupiter’s possible watery moon
Europa is the sixth-largest moon in the solar system and Jupiter’s fourth-largest satellite.
Saturn, planet of rings, moons and more to explore
Saturn is the crown jewel of our solar system. It has a stunning set of rings, diverse moons, and so much more to explore.
Enceladus, Saturn’s moon with a hidden ocean
With its subsurface ocean and so-called "tiger stripes," Enceladus is one of Saturn's most fascinating moons.
Titan, a moon with familiar vistas
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is both the only other place in the solar system with liquid on its surface and the only moon with a thick atmosphere, making it a tantalizing destination to search for life.
Uranus, the sideways planet
Uranus may be the butt of all planet jokes, but there's much more to this world than potty humor.
Neptune, planet of wind and ice
Neptune, our outermost planet, is a windy blue world with exotic ice, raging storms, rings, and a moon that could have a subsurface ocean.
Triton, Neptune's largest moon
Triton is likely a captured Kuiper Belt Object and possibly an ocean world.
Pluto, the Kuiper Belt’s most famous dwarf planet
Pluto is a dwarf planet and the largest of the Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) — a collection of ice-rock bodies found outside Neptune’s orbit.
Exoplanets, worlds orbiting other stars
We know of more than 5,000 planets orbiting other stars. Does one of them host life as we know it?
What is a Planet?
It's right there in our name: The Planetary Society. But what is a planet? This seemingly simple question is the subject of much debate.Learn More
Close Your Left Eye, Then Your Right: Simultaneous Observations of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis from Two Chilean Telescopes Demonstrate Parallax
This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile
Very Close Approach by Asteroid 4179 Toutatis: It's Not a Crisis, It's an Opportunity
On Wednesday, September 29, Earth will dodge a cannonball: the Near-Earth Asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis will buzz by at a distance only four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon -- about one and a half million kilometers, or about a million miles. But, as the wisdom goes,
Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants (16 April 2004)
2003 was a good year with 50,779 asteroid astrometric observations submitted, including known NEOs and the discovery of a new Aten-class object, 2003 UY12. Based upon the volume of astrometric observations submitted, observatory code 683 was the world's eighth most productive asteroid astrometry station.
NASA Names Gusev Crater Hills After Apollo 1 Crew
NASA Headquarters issued a press release late yesterday announcing that the agency is memorializing the Apollo 1 crew -- Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee -- by naming the hills surrounding the first Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's landing site after the three astronauts.