Solar System Exploration
December 16, 2004
The water-world Enceladus appears here to sit atop Saturn's rings like a drop of dew upon a leaf. Even though it appears like a tiny drop before the might of the giant Saturn, Enceladus reminds us ...
The Dew Drop of Saturn
This map, made from data obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows the distribution of pyroxene, an iron- and magnesium-rich mineral, in the southern hemisphere of the giant asteroid Vesta.
Pyroxene Map of Vesta's South Pole
As it loops around Saturn, Cassini periodically gets a good view of Saturn's moon Hyperion. Hyperion chaotically tumbles around in its orbit and is the largest of Saturn's irregularly-shaped moons....
Two moons that have profound impacts on the rings, Mimas and Prometheus, are seen here with the F ring.
The huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn's northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Catching Its Tail
This color-enhanced image of Jupiter and two of its largest moons—Io and Europa—was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it performed its eighth flyby of the gas giant planet.
Juno Observes Jupiter, Io and Europa
This global view of the surface of Venus is centered at 180 degrees east longitude. Magellan synthetic aperture radar mosaics from the first cycle of Magellan mapping are mapped onto a computer-sim...
Computer Simulated Global View of Venus
The graphic of Saturn depicts the actual magnetic field lines of the planetary magnetic field created deep within Saturn's core. It also depicts the exact alignment of the dipole axis and the rotat...
Saturn's magnetic field lines
Cassini coasts beneath giant Saturn, staring upward at its gleaming crescent and icy rings. A great bull's-eye pattern is centered on the south pole, where a vast, hurricane-like storm spins. Thi...
The Encke Gap, the broad, vertical dark band running down the center of this image, is maintained by the small moon Pan (not pictured). Pan also shepherds three ringlets, all of which appear here a...
NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Oxo Crater is unique because of the relatively large 'slump' in its crater rim.
Oxo Crater at LAMO
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows cratered terrain just south of the equator of Ceres. Dawn took this image on June 15, 2016, from its low-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of about ...
Dawn LAMO Image 207
Light & Dark on Iapetus Saturn's outermost large moon, Iapetus, has a bright, heavily cratered icy terrain and a dark terrain, as shown in this Voyager 2 image taken on August 22, 1981. ...
Light & Dark on Iapetus
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet (C/2012 S1) ISON was photographed on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the Su...
Hubble Captures Comet ISON
This image, taken on June 18, 2015 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows dwarf planet Ceres from an altitude of 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers) -- a mountain 3 miles (5 kilometers) high, surrounded by re...
Dawn Survey Orbit Image 19
This amazing close-up of Saturn's rings reveals their incredible variety. In some regions there are wavelike structures, while in other places the rings' structure appears to be more chaotic. This...
Scanning the Rings
+ Unannotated version These images show views of Earth and the moon from NASA's Cassini (left) and MESSENGER spacecraft (right) from July 19, 2013. In the Cassini image, the wide-angle camera ha...
Two Views of Home -- Annotated
The tall, cone-shaped mountain Ahuna Mons is seen in this image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Ahuna Mons taken on Oct. 14, 2015.
Dawn HAMO Image 67
Although difficult to see at first, more than one moon is at work sculpting Saturn's rings in this view from the Cassini spacecraft. Prometheus (102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) is more or less...
A small crescent of the moon Rhea is dwarfed by the larger crescent of Saturn. Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across) can be seen in the upper right of the image. This view looks toward the ...
Crescents Large and Small
A great storm swims in the cloud lanes of Saturn's high northern latitudes. Dark bands across the bottom of this view are shadows cast by the partly opaque rings. Cloud features are visible within ...
A Storm Escapes the Shadows
The puzzling, fascinating surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa looms large in this newly-reprocessed color view, made from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s.
Europa's Stunning Surface
In Greek mythology, Dione was the daughter of Tethys, so we should perhaps not be surprised to see the two eponymous moons together.
Mother and Daughter
Sunlight illuminates a bright crescent on Saturn's moon Enceladus while Saturnshine dimly lights more of the moon. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 31...
Shining a Second Light
The mobile service tower at SLC-3 is rolled back to reveal the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket with the NASA InSight spacecraft onboard.
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