Solar System Exploration
Vesta's Surface Comes into View
June 13, 2011
The Cassini mission’s epic 13-year exploration of Saturn is coming to a close. On Sept. 15, the spacecraft will make a planned plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn in order to protect pristine icy ...
A Journey's End
The beauty and spectacle of celestial motion is captured in this short movie of a moon shadow darting across Saturn's rings.
Moon Shadow in Motion
On Nov. 30, 2016, NASA's Cassini mission begins a daring set of ring-grazing orbits, skimming past the outside edge of Saturn's main rings.
Cassini's High-Flying, Ring-Grazing Orbits
This movie shows Mercury's globe as it rotates.
Mercury False Color Rotation Movie
This video drops in on mission control for NASA's Voyager spacecraft as Voyager 1 sends back data from the far reaches of our solar system.
Voyager 35 Years Later
View this beautiful visualization of the Dawn spacecraft on its journey to the main asteroid belt to Asteroid Vesta and Dwarf Planet Ceres.
Sungrazing comets are a special class of comets that come very close to the sun at their nearest approach, a point called perihelion.
What is a Sun-Grazing Comet?
Mating of LVA
Mating of LVA
As millions of people observed the total lunar eclipse on October 8, 2014, MESSENGER was also watching from Mercury.
Lunar Eclipse From Mercury
Giovanni Cassini, the astronomer, discovers a moon near Saturn. Half is dark as coal. The other half, bright as snow. Three centuries later, Cassini, the spacecraft, flies by for a close look.
Backstage Pass to Iapetus
Rotating asteroids have a tough time sticking to their orbits. Their surfaces heat up during the day and cool down at night, giving off radiation that can act as a sort of mini-thruster.
How Sunlight Pushes Asteroids
The six Apollo landing sites are revealed chronologically as the phase and libration of the Moon is shown throughout the Apollo era.
Video: Apollo Landing Sites
The history-making Viking 1 mission launched 35 years ago.
Viking, Mars Trailblazer
This infrared movie from NASA's Cassini mission shows the churning of the curious six-sided jet stream at Saturn's north pole known as "the hexagon."
Hexagon in Silhouette
The tumbling and irregularly shaped moon Hyperion rotates away from the Cassini spacecraft in this movie taken during a distant encounter in Dec. 2005.
Rough and Tumble Hyperion
This animation shows a color-coded map from NASA's Dawn mission revealing the highs and lows of topography on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres.
Ceres Topographic Globe Animation
What might a wet Mars have looked like? This artist's concept attempts to fill in the blanks.
Mars: Wet to Dry Animation
With kaleidoscopic forms and hues, these two false-color views from NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the patterns that come and go in the course of one Saturn day within the huge storm in the planet'...
The heavens often seem vast and unchanging as seen from Earth, but movement in the skies is the norm. The relative motions of both Cassini and Enceladus over a 15-minute period create the movement ...
Nevertheless, It Moves
Animation of Cassini's final orbit, leading to a pass by the moon Titan which sends the spacecraft plunging into Saturn on Sept. 15, 2017.
Cassini's Final Orbit
This movie captured by NASA'S Cassini spacecraft shows a south polar vortex, or a swirling mass of gas around the pole in the atmosphere, at Saturn’s moon Titan.
Titan's South Polar Vortex in Motion
NASA’s Cassini mission will come to a spectacular close on September 15, 2017 after almost two decades in space since its launch in 1997.
Science@NASA: Cassini's Finale
The flight over Charon begins high over the hemisphere New Horizons saw on its closest approach, then descends over the deep, wide canyon of Serenity Chasma.
Flyover: Pluto Moon Charon
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The Japanese cargo spacecraft will remain at the International Space Station for two months.
Japan's Resupply Ship Installed on Station's Harmony Module
Unlike a spiral or elliptical galaxy, the galaxy KK 246 looks like glitter spilled across a black velvet sheet.
Hubble Sees Stellar Glitter in a Cosmic Void
A new era in human spaceflight begins as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil.
NASA, SpaceX to Launch First Astronauts to Space Station from U.S. Since 2011
What can asteroids tell us about the early solar system? The James Webb Space Telescope will help unravel these mysteries.
NASA's Webb Will Study the ‘Building Blocks' of Our Solar System
This enhanced-color image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft captures the striking cloud bands of Jupiter’s southern latitudes.
Jupiter's Racing Stripes
The University of Hawaiʻi ‘s Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) has discovered the first known Jupiter Trojan asteroid to have sprouted a comet-like tail.
ATLAS telescope discovers first-of-its-kind asteroid