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Eyes on the Solar System

Internet Resources

  1. Refers to materials, information, and resources available free-of-charge through the internet. NASA sites are in the public domain.
  2. Some books, articles, and technical reports held by the NASA Library may be available in full-text or full-image through the internet. Cite these materials under appropriate print guidelines and include the web address at the end of the citation
  3. Do NOT select Internet resources with addresses ending in *.asp or *.cfm as these are impermanent dynamic address formats.

Citation Format

  1. Use the International Standards Organization style (ISO 690-2) accepted by
the Chicago Manual (see
  1. Online resources must include the date the page was last accessed.
  2. Modify the ISO format by removing the sentence, "Available from
Internet" from the citation.
  1. Example: Science Feature

Phillips, Dr. Tony. Wide Awake in the Sea of Tranquility. 27 August 2012 [cited19 September 2012].

The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) engages the Nation's science community, sponsors scientific research, and develops and deploys satellites and probes in collaboration with NASA's partners around the world to answer fundamental questions requiring the view from and into space. SMD seeks to understand the origins, evolution, and destiny of the universe and to understand the nature of the strange phenomena that shape it. SMD also seeks to understand:

  • the nature of life in the universe and what kinds of life may exist beyond Earth;
  • the solar system, both scientifically and in preparation for human exploration; and
  • the Sun and Earth, changes in the Earth-Sun system, and the consequences of the Earth-Sun relationship for life on Earth.

The Science Mission Directorate sponsors research that both enables, and is enabled by, NASA's exploration activities. The SMD portfolio is contributing to NASA's achievement of the Vision for Space Exploration by striving to:

  • Understand the history of Mars and the formation of the solar system. By understanding the formation of diverse terrestrial planets (with atmospheres) in the solar system, researchers learn more about Earth's future and the most promising opportunities for habitation beyond our planet. For example, differences in the impacts of collisional processes on Earth, the Moon, and Mars can provide clues about differences in origin and evolution of each of these bodies.
  • Search for Earth-like planets and habitable environments around other stars. SMD pursues multiple research strategies with the goal of developing effective astronomically-detectable signatures of biological processes. The study of the Earth-Sun system may help researchers identify atmospheric biosignatures that distinguish Earth-like (and potentially habitable) planets around nearby stars. An understanding of the origin of life and the time evolution of the atmosphere on Earth may reveal likely signatures of life on extrasolar planets.
  • Explore the solar system for scientific purposes while supporting safe robotic and human exploration of space. For example, large-scale coronal mass ejections from the Sun can cause potentially lethal consequences for improperly shielded human flight systems, as well as some types of robotic systems. SMD's pursuit of interdisciplinary scientific research focus areas will help predict potentially harmful conditions in space and protect NASA's robotic and human explorers.

For more information, visit

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a lightweight XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Think of it as a distributable "What's New" for this site. You can have the latest exciting news about solar system exploration sent directly to you, rather than having to search it out yourself.

Originated by Dave Winer of UserLand in 1997 and used by Netscape to fill channels for Netcenter, RSS has evolved into a popular means of sharing content between sites. RSS solves myriad problems webmasters commonly face, such as increasing traffic, and gathering and distributing news. RSS can also be the basis for additional content distribution services.

To use the RSS feed, cut and paste the following url: into a web browser or other software that is RSS capable.

Planetary Science
Carnegie Institute for Science: Giant Planet Satellite and Moon Page
Carnegie Institute for Science: Jupiter Satellite Groups
Carnegie Institute for Science: Saturn Satellite Groups
Carnegie Institute for Science: Uranus Satellite Groups
Carnegie Institute for Science: Neptune Satellite Groups

Gary W. Kronk: Periodic Comets

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: Minor Planet Satellites

International Astronomical Union: Naming Astronomical Objects

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Main Page
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Constants
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Physical Parameters of Planets & Pluto
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Keplerian Elements
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Satellite Name/Count
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Satellite Parameters
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Satellite Elements
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Small Body Database
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Solar System Dynamics: Meteor Showers

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory: Minor Planet Center

U.S. Geological Survey: Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
U.S. Geological Survey: Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers
U.S. Geological Survey: IAU rings & gaps

U.S. Navy: Astronomical Constants

University of Maryland: IAU Small Bodies
University of Maryland: Cross List Comets/Asteroids

NASA History Office: Deep Space Chronicle (Historical record of missions from 1958 to 2000)
NASA: Current missions are updated via NASA fact sheets, press kits and press releases.

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Last Updated: 23 Jun 2015