Solar System Exploration
Final Assembly at the Cape
December 16, 2004
Final Assembly at the Cape
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 9, 2011. Vesta is also considered a protoplanet because it is a large body that almost became ...
All Eyes on Vesta
When seen up close, the F ring of Saturn resolves into multiple dusty strands. This Cassini view shows three bright strands and a very faint fourth strand off to the right.
F for Fabulous
This view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft taken on May 29, 2016, shows terrain on Ceres centered at approximately 41 degrees north latitude, 308 degrees east longitude. Several features in this view di...
Dawn LAMO Image 165
This image of smooth material on Ceres was obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on June 9, 2018 from an altitude of about 41 miles (66 kilometers).
Smooth Material on Ceres
The active surface jets on Enceladus collectively form a brilliant, extended plume that is made visible as sunlight scatters among the microscopic particles of ice. The plume is more easily seen wi...
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Tarpeia crater, located in Vesta's Rheasilvia quadrangle, near asteroid Vesta's south pole. Tarpeia has a sharp, fresh rim surrounding it.
These images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft are located in asteroid Vesta's Urbinia quadrangle, in Vesta's southern hemisphere. Urbinia crater is the large, irregularly shaped crater, Sossia the middl...
Apparent Brightness and Topography Images of Urbinia and Sossia Craters
Students and staffers gather outside the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines. They smile and wave in anticipation of their deep-space portrait session with NASA's Cassini spacecraft during the Jul...
Iowans Wave at Saturn
While the moon Epimetheus passes by, beyond the edge of Saturn's main rings, the tiny moon Daphnis carries on its orbit within the Keeler gap of the A ring.
Amidst and Beyond the Rings
This new, detailed global mosaic color map of Pluto is based on a series of three color filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA s...
Pluto Global Color Map
A propeller-shaped structure created by an unseen moon appears dark in this image obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft of the unilluminated side of Saturn's rings. The propeller is marked with a ...
Propeller from Unlit Side
As Saturn's active moon Enceladus continues to spew icy particles into space, scientists struggle to understand the mechanics of what is going on beneath the fractured south polar terrain. This gra...
Enceladus "Cold Geyser" Model
This anaglyph from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows degraded craters in asteroid Vesta's northern hemisphere. You need 3D glasses to view this image.
3-D Image of Degraded Craters
The Cassini spacecraft spies bright fractures in the icy crust of Dione. These bright "linea" cover the moon's trailing hemisphere and were imaged by Cassini at high resolution in 2005 (see At Cart...
Wisps on Dione
Cassini's "eyes" -- its powerful imaging cameras -- bear witness to the majestic and spectacular sights of the Saturn system, as this views attests. Here, the probe gazes upon Titan (5,150 kilomete...
A Sight to Behold
This is an artist concept of the ring of debris that may orbit Saturn's second-largest moon, Rhea. The suggested disk of solid material is exaggerated in density here for clarity. Due to a dec...
Artist Concept of Rhea Rings
As if drawn by an artist, this sublime scene speaks of the powerful beauty in the outer solar system: the domain of giant planets encircled by rings and orbited by small cratered moons of ice. In ...
Serenity of Saturn
Saturn's tiny moon Pan orbits in the middle of the Encke Gap of the planet's A ring in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. Pan (17 miles, or 28 kilometers across) is visible as a bright dot in...
Pan In the Middle
Tethys, dwarfed by the scale of Saturn and its rings, appears as an elegant crescent in this image taken by NASA's Cassini Spacecraft.
Crescent Tethys and Rings
The Cassini spacecraft looks down at craters near the north pole of Enceladus. Cratered surfaces on solar system moons indicate older terrains, while smooth surfaces are generally younger, and t...
Smooth and Rough Enceladus
Jagged looking shadows stretch away from vertical structures of ring material created by the moon Daphnis in this image taken as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox. Daphnis (8 kilometers, o...
Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard assembling equipment on the Moon in 1971.
Apollo 14 Astronaut Alan Shepard on the Moon
The waxing Moon rises over a ridge in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah.
Day Moon Ridge
This image was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer co...
Bright Spot on Ceres Has Dimmer Companion
Three of Saturn's satellites are visible in this snapshot from the Cassini spacecraft. Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is in the top left of the image.Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 mil...
Moons in a Row
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