Solar System

A simulated perspective of Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in the solar system, with water frost at its peak.

Astronomers Discover Water Frost on Mars' Tallest Volcanoes

On early winter mornings, a thin layer of ice forms in craters atop the Red Planet's towering peaks, near its equator, according to a new study

The northern lights appear near Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada, on May 11, 2024.

Missed the Auroras in May? Here’s How to See Them Next Time

Three veteran aurora chasers and a NASA scientist share everything you need to know to check these dazzling displays off your bucket list

An illustration of our solar system's planets in a line. This week, six planets appeared to be in a line from Earth's perspective, but they did not acutally align in space.

Missed the 'Parade of Planets'? These Upcoming Alignments Will Likely Be Better, Anyway

Astronomers tempered expectations of the celestial event this week, pointing to others in the near future as more exciting opportunities for sky watchers

A computer-generated model of Sif Mons, a volcano on Venus. The new study found evidence of recent volcanic activity at Sif Mons and the Niobe Planitia region.

Venus Might Still Have Active Volcanoes, as Recent Lava Flows Suggest 'Ongoing' Eruptions

Astronomers have again discovered evidence of recent volcanic activity on Earth's sister planet in data from the 1990s

An illustration of the sun's magnetic fields overlaid on an image of the sun captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2016.

Researchers Trace the Origin of the Sun's Magnetic Field, Shedding Light on Space Weather and Solar Cycles

In a new study, scientists suggest the sun's magnetic field originates much closer to the star's surface than previously thought, a finding that could boost predictions of solar activity

A composite image of Jupiter, taken by the Juno spacecraft

The Seven Most Amazing Discoveries We’ve Made by Exploring Jupiter

The giant planet is a world of extremes

From Latourell, Oregon, the northern lights appear as ribbons of color in the night sky on May 11.

See 12 Breathtaking Images of the Northern Lights, Spotted in Shocking Places Over the Weekend

A period of unusually strong solar activity meant the colorful aurora borealis could be seen much farther south than normal

An angled view of the solar system with main asteroid belt discoveries in green and near-Earth objects in light blue.

Scientists Discover 27,500 Asteroids in Old Telescope Images Using A.I.

While most of the team’s new finds are located in the main asteroid belt, about 100 are near-Earth asteroids that pass close to our planet's orbit

The Eta Aquarids appear to originate from a bright star in the constellation Aquarius.

How to Watch the Dazzling Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, Bringing an Unusual 'Outburst' to Skies This Weekend

This year's spectacle will be more impressive than usual, as the Earth passes through a concentrated clump of 3,000-year-old comet debris

This false-colored image of Mercury reflects the varying age and mineral composition of the surface.

The Seven Most Amazing Discoveries We’ve Made by Exploring Mercury

Only two robotic missions have made it to the Swift Planet, but they were crucial for upending many false assumptions of that sun-scorched world

Antarctic meteorite (HUT 18036) is found partially submerged in ice, as opposed to resting atop the surface. 

Meteorites Are Becoming Harder to Find as They Sink Into Antarctica's Melting Ice

The disappearing space rocks are burying valuable clues into the history and composition of our solar system, according to a new study

The Lyrids are slated to peak on April 21-22, though the moon will be nearly full, which could make the meteors more difficult to see.

How to Watch the Brilliant Lyrid Meteor Shower This Month

Fiery streaks will illuminate the night sky from April 15-29, with the spectacle's peak occurring from April 21-22

The diamond ring effect is seen as the moon eclipses the sun over Fort Worth on April 8.

These 15 Photos Show How the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Captivated the Nation

From Texas to Maine, millions of Americans looked up and were spellbound by the spectacular phenomenon

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Why We Love Eclipses

Two perspectives on the astronomical phenomenon that has fascinated humans for as long as we’ve been watching the skies

The darker areas across Titan's equatorial regions represent its dunes, as taken by the Cassini rover.

Titan's Massive Dunes May Be a Comet and Moon Graveyard From the Early Solar System

A new modeling study suggests the dark dunes on Saturn's largest moon are made of tiny particles created by crashing comets and moonlets billions of years ago

Mars' orbit has an impact on Earth's oceans and climate in cycles of 2.4 million years, new research finds.

Mars Has an Unexpected Influence on Earth's Oceans and Climate, Repeating Every 2.4 Million Years, Study Finds

The gravitational interactions between Mars and Earth as they orbit the sun may have periodically promoted a warmer climate and changes in ocean circulation on our home planet

Roughly every 71 years, the bright periodic comet 12P/Pons-Brooks passes by the sun and Earth. At its brightest, it can be seen with the naked eye in fairly dark skies.

You Can See a Rare, Bright Comet This Month. Will It Be Visible During the Solar Eclipse?

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is a frigid, volcanic ice ball that won’t pass near Earth again until 2095

Europa’s icy surface hides an ocean of liquid water underneath, making it a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life.

See the Messages NASA Will Send to Space on Its Upcoming Mission to Europa

A metal plate affixed to the Europa Clipper is engraved with a poem, tributes to scientists and waveforms representing the word "water" in 103 languages, among other drawings

An artist's rendition of the Europa Clipper mission, set to launch to Europa in October. The mission could provide new insights about the life-supporting potential of the moon, which hosts a massive saltwater ocean beneath its icy surface.

Jupiter's Moon Europa May Have Less Oxygen Than Previously Thought

The new findings could have implications for whether Europa's vast ocean contains the conditions necessary to support life

Data from the retired Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint venture between NASA and the German Space Agency, led scientists to their discovery.

Scientists Detect Water on the Surface of Asteroids for the First Time Ever

Using data from a retired NASA mission, researchers identified unique signs of water molecules on two space rocks, unlocking new insight into how water may have arrived on Earth

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