Solar System Exploration
November 11, 2011
+ See Viewing Options
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft of asteroid Vesta shows Rubria crater, with dark and bright material, offset from the center of the image. Rubria crater is located in Vesta's Gegania quadran...
This image of Aricia AV-L-11, from the atlas of the giant asteroid Vesta, was created from images taken as NASA's Dawn mission flew around the object, also known as a protoplanet.
+ Annotated Version This mosaic shows an updated global map of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, created using images taken during Cassini spacecraft flybys. The map incorporates new images taken durin...
Map of Enceladus - December 2011 -- Unannotated
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 image, made from data obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows a perspective view of a layered young crater in the Rheasilvia basin at asteroid Vesta.
Perspective View of Layered Young Crater
Crescent Rhea July 20, 2004 Full-Res: PIA05419 The first artificial satellite in the Saturn system, the Cassini spacecraft, return...
This mosaic of the surface of asteroid Vesta was made from images obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft while the area was entirely in the sun's shadow. Light reflecting off of other areas of Vesta pr...
This near-infrared color image shows a specular reflection, or sunglint, off of a hydrocarbon lake named Kivu Lacus on Saturn's moon Titan.
Sunglint on a Hydrocarbon Lake
The Cassini spacecraft examines the anti-Saturnian side of Dione and shows the cratered surface east of the moon's distinctive wispy terrain.
East of Wisps
Odysseus impact basin lies between night and day on Tethys. Lit terrain seen here is on the anti-Saturn side of Tethys (1,071 kilometers, or 665 miles across), or the side that always faces away f...
Odysseus Into the Dark
This image of Ceres approximates how the dwarf planet's colors would appear to the eye.
Ceres in Color
This close-up view of the inner A ring shows intriguing variations in brightness along the direction of ring motion -- from top to bottom. Close examination reveals dark regions that appear to wide...
The craters Takel and Cozobi are featured in this image of Ceres from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Takel is the young crater with bright material on the left of this image, and Cozobi is the sharply def...
Dawn XMO2 Image 8
This processed image, taken Jan. 13, 2015, shows the dwarf planet Ceres as seen from the Dawn spacecraft. The image hints at craters on the surface of Ceres. Dawn's framing camera took this image a...
Ceres From Dawn, Processed
Vertical structures in the variable outer edge of Saturn's B ring cast shadows in these two images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft shortly after the planet's August 2009 northern vernal equin...
Long Spiky Shadows
Jets of icy particles burst from Saturn's moon Enceladus in this brief movie sequence of four images taken on Nov. 27, 2005. The sensational discovery of active eruptions on a third outer solar sys...
Enceladus Plume Movie
Map of the trajectory NASA's Magellan spacecraft took to explore Venus.
Magellan Trajectory Map
The sounds and spectrograms in these two videos represent data collected by the Radio and Plasma Wave Science, or RPWS, instrument on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, as it crossed the plane of Saturn's ...
The Sound of Science: Comparison of Cassini Ring Crossings
Sunlight strikes the terminator (the boundary between day and night) region on Saturn's moon Iapetus at nearly horizontal angles, making visible the vertical relief of many features. This view is ...
To the Relief of Iapetus
The familiar banded appearance of Jupiter at low and middle latitudes gradually gives way to a more mottled appearance at high latitudes in this striking true color image taken Dec. 13, 2000, by ...
This figure illustrates the unexpected and bizarre pattern of daytime temperatures found on Saturn's small inner moon Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles, in diameter).
Bizarre Temperatures on Mimas
This animation, from Cassini's navigation team, shows the spacecraft's final orbits in 2016 and 2017.
Final Orbits: Cassini Grand Finale (Animation)
This series of images taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows asteroid Bennu in one full rotation from about 50 miles (80 km).
Asteroid Benn Full Rotation (50 Miles)
This image shows the scientists' best guess to date of what the surface of the protoplanet Vesta might look like from the south pole and incorporates the best data on dimples and bulges Vesta from ...
Simulated Vesta from the South Pole
Engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., prepare NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Observatory for acoustic environmental testing.
You Might Also Like
Swirling galaxy NGC 3895 would not look out of place on a coffee made by a starry-eyed barista.
Hubble Grabs a Stellar Latte
Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory spotted a black hole hurling hot material into space at close to the speed of light.
Black Hole Outburst Caught on Video
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are finding planets have a tough time forming in the crowded Westerlund 2 star cluster.
In Planet Formation, It's Location, Location, Location
Ice-blue clouds are drifting over the Arctic and that means noctilucent cloud season is here.
NASA's AIM Spots First Arctic Noctilucent Clouds of the Season
Recently discovered object 2019 LD2, originally believed to be the first cometary “Jupiter Trojan” asteroid, turned out to be an interloper comet masquerading as a member of the Trojan population.
UPDATE: Astronomers recategorize asteroid-like comet detected by ATLAS telescope
One of fiction's best-known detectives will soon be represented on Mars. Meet SHERLOC, an instrument on the Perseverance rover.
The Detective Aboard NASA's Perseverance Rover