The Seven Wonders of the Solar System

People like to make lists of things, especially lists of superlatives: the best, fastest, oldest, largest, heaviest and so on. There are lists of the ten fastest animals and the ten longest rivers and even of the ten highest-paid rock stars. The Guinness company created a small industry from publishing lists exactly… » 9/14/14 3:30pm 9/14/14 3:30pm

​It's Time To Get Serious About Exploring Uranus. (Stop Snickering!)

Do names determine our destiny? Certainly, Uranus (properly pronounced, yur-an-us) makes a strong case for that theory. The planet has been repeatedly ignored by space missions, aside from a Voyager 2 flyby in 1986. But, a group of planetary scientists say Uranus has fascinating traits that merit investigation. » 8/26/14 3:20pm 8/26/14 3:20pm

A Remarkable View Of Uranus As Seen Through The Rings Of Saturn

Just released by NASA's Cassini Imaging Team, the picture above shows Uranus as a tiny blue orb shining far beyond the bright hazy bands of Saturn's F ring. » 5/02/14 6:30am 5/02/14 6:30am

Should we just rename Uranus already?

Two-hundred-and-thirty-two years ago a mistake was made. The question is, do we have to keep living with it forever, or is it finally time to rename Uranus? » 12/13/13 6:40am 12/13/13 6:40am

Alien life in our solar system, according to pulp-art legend Frank R.…

Almost fifty years after his death, Frank R. Paul remains one of the biggest names in science fiction art and pulp magazine illustration. These visions of life on moons and planets throughout our solar system (recently posted to reddit with no attribution to Paul, his work, or his impact) provide us with another… » 4/08/13 3:20pm 4/08/13 3:20pm

Auroras spotted on Uranus for the first time

Outside of Earth, we've seen auroras on Jupiter and Saturn, but never on Uranus. Now, for the first time, the Hubble Space Telescope has photographed two auroral storms, each as large as the Earth. » 4/14/12 2:00pm 4/14/12 2:00pm

Flag Designs for Earth & The Solar System in 2020 and Beyond

Redittor thefrek has designed a kick-ass series of flags for the Solar System and its planets. But flags, as we all know, change over time. So he's also created possible revisions for those flags reaching as far as 800 years into the future. » 3/23/12 9:30am 3/23/12 9:30am

The planets of the Solar System, according to crazed pulp comics of the…

Back in the Forties, the science fiction rag Planet Comics published the ongoing feature "Life On Other Worlds." This section peppered scientific know-how amongst whatever gonzo shit the writer happened to make up. Here's a tour of our Solar System using old issues of Planet Comics. Did you know that Mars is occupied… » 11/06/11 7:30am 11/06/11 7:30am

How Uranus got knocked on its side

Uranus is unique among all the planets of the solar system because it essentially orbits on its side, with its axis tilted nearly perpendicular to the Sun. Now astronomers have finally solved the mystery of why Uranus looks so strange. » 10/06/11 5:17pm 10/06/11 5:17pm

Our solar system might have once had an extra gas planet

This solar system just doesn't work. According to a new computer simulation, the planets could never have come together in their current configuration. The only explanation is that we once had a fifth gas giant...and it's still out there somewhere. » 9/20/11 11:03am 9/20/11 11:03am

A map of all the water in the solar system

We've just learned that there's strong evidence that saltwater flows on the surface of Mars. It's another reminder that water is everywhere in our solar system, whether it's ice, vapor, or liquid. Here's a handy guide to where all the water can be found. » 8/04/11 2:09pm 8/04/11 2:09pm

A complete guide to the planets' birthdays

Last week saw Neptune Day, the first anniversary - in Neptune years - of the planet's discovery on September 23, 1846. That got us thinking: what are the "birthdays" for all the other planets? Here's a handy, mildly insane guide. » 7/17/11 7:00am 7/17/11 7:00am

You could jump off the solar system's tallest cliff...and survive

Verona Rupes is a huge cliff face located on Uranus's moon Miranda. It's the tallest cliff in the solar system, as much as twenty kilometers deep. If you jumped off it, you'd fall for twelve minutes...and you could still survive. » 4/04/11 2:00pm 4/04/11 2:00pm

All the planets gather together for a family portrait

NASA's Messenger probe is currently orbiting close around the Sun in preparation for its mission to Mercury. While making its lonely orbit, Messenger snapped this amazing photo that shows all the planets (plus our Moon) in one big family photo. » 2/23/11 12:30pm 2/23/11 12:30pm

The Rough Guide to Solar System Mountaineering

The great challenge for any climber is to conquer each continent's tallest mountain. But tomorrow's climbers can consider a far more extreme challenge: leaving Earth to climb the tallest peaks of the solar system. Here's how they'll do it. » 10/01/10 9:30am 10/01/10 9:30am

New Evidence For Seas of Liquid Diamond On Neptune

Remote gas giant planets Neptune and Uranus could be covered in vast seas of liquid diamond, dotted with solid diamond chunks like icebergs. A new experiment revealed such oceans are plausible, and would explain some oddities about Neptune's magnetic field. » 1/18/10 2:30pm 1/18/10 2:30pm