Solar System Exploration
April 11, 2011
Various observations of Pluto over the course of several decades.
Pluto Through the Years
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft is dominated by Caparronia impact crater, approximately 55 km in diameter with a mostly fresh, irregularly shaped rim. It also has a curved, linear mound runn...
Caparronia Crater Covered with Ejecta and Small, Secondary Craters
The Cassini spacecraft snapped this high-resolution image of Saturn's small moon Epimetheus during the spacecraft's non-targeted flyby on April 7, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of appr...
These five images of single stars, taken at different times with the narrow-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, show the effects of haze collecting on the camera's optics, then successful re...
Reconditioning of Cassini Narrow-Angle Camera Full Resolution
The Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its only flyby of Saturn's moon Dione on Oct. 11. In the process, Cassini captured Dione eclipsing Saturn's moon Rhea. In the picture above, the dist...
It Takes Two to Tango
This false color image of two density waves in Saturn's A ring was made from the stellar occultation observed by Cassini's ultraviolet imaging spectrograph when the spacecraft was 6.3 million kilom...
Catching Saturn's Ring Waves
Summer is slowly coming to Saturn's northern hemisphere.
Summer is Coming!
This color-coded map from NASA's Dawn mission shows the highs and lows of topography on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. It is labeled with names of features approved by the International Astrono...
Topographic Ceres Map With Crater Names
NASA's Dawn mission has found that craters on Ceres show a diversity of shapes that provide important clues about the structure of Ceres' subsurface; shown here is Fejokoo, a polygonal crater.
This global map of Saturn's moon Tethys was created using images taken during Cassini spacecraft flybys, with Voyager images filling in the gaps in Cassini's coverage. The map is an equidistant (s...
Map of Tethys -- August 2008
NASA's Dawn spacecraft after installation of high gain antenna.
Dawn Spacecraft After Installation of High Gain Antenna
This Cassini spacecraft image holds an unseen treasure orbiting within the bright arc of Saturn's G ring: the tiny moonlet Aegaeon. The moonlet itself is too small to be seen within the arc pictur...
In the Arc
+ View Image without Labels The Cassini spacecraft captures eight new propeller-like features within Saturn's A ring in what may be the propeller "hot zone" of Saturn's rings. Propeller features ...
The Cassini spacecraft surveys the battered surface of icy Tethys. The great impact basin straddling the terminator is itself overprinted by many smaller impact sites. The view in this image is to...
All Craters Great and Small
The moons Dione and Tethys face each other across the gulf of Saturn's rings. Here, the Cassini spacecraft looks on the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys below and the anti-Saturn side of Dione ab...
From just below the plane of Saturn's rings, the Cassini spacecraft looks at the rings edge-on and sees the planet's second largest moon beyond. Although Rhea may appear to be in the foreground of...
Rhea and Edge-On Rings
These two images of Saturn show the entire south polar region, not just the little area around the core of the hurricane-like vortex.
Saturn's South Polar Region Revealed
These two global images of Iapetus show the extreme brightness dichotomy on the surface of this peculiar Saturnian moon.
Global View of Iapetus' Dichotomy
One of the most exciting features of Tethys (and of the whole Saturnian system as well) is Ithaca Chasma, a huge trench which extends from near the north pole down almost all the way to the south ...
Tethys' Ithaca Chasma
Having passed closer to Tethys than the Voyager 2 spacecraft, Cassini has returned the best-ever natural color view of this icy Saturnian moon. As seen here, the battered surface of Tethys (1,060 ...
Battered and Grooved
The Cassini spacecraft looks across the surface of Saturn's moon Dione and details the "wispy" terrain first chronicled by Voyager.
Looking Over Dione's Wisps
From its unique perspective high above the planet, the Cassini spacecraft looks down upon Saturn's murky northern hemisphere. The bluish hues seen in some Cassini views of Saturn's north are notabl...
This Voyager 2 image of the Uranian rings delta, gamma, eta, beta and alpha (from top) was taken Jan. 23, 1986.
Rings of Uranus
The Cassini spacecraft gazes toward a distant star as Saturn's rings slip past in the foreground. At upper left is the outer A ring, with its dark Keeler Gap. At lower right, a train of bright clum...
A Helpful Star
Saturn's moon Dione, in the foreground of this Cassini spacecraft image, appears darker than the moon Tethys. Tethys appears brighter because it has a higher albedo than Dione, meaning Tethys refl...
Tethys and Darker Dione
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