Galileo’s sketches of the moon, showing its phases.
We take our understanding of the solar system for granted, but it took centuries to figure out. The original writings of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo and others show how they sparked a revolution.
Don Davis (work commissioned by NASA)
Study suggests that comets and meteorites could have seeded planets beyond our own solar system with life.
Enceladus, with its warm internal ocean, is thought to be potentially habitable.
Marc Van Norden/Flickr
A new theory could change our understanding of the moons in our solar system – and the genesis of life itself.
New Horizons continues to help unravel the icy dwarf planet’s secrets.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
After last summer's Pluto flyby, the New Horizons spacecraft started sending data back to Earth – at 2 kilobits per second. Here's some of what scientists have learned so far from that rich, slow cache.
An artist’s illustration of Kappa Ceti whose stellar winds are 50 times stronger than our sun’s. Any Earth-like planet would need a magnetic field to protect its atmosphere if it was to stand a chance of hosting life.
In the search for life on other planets in the universe we need to find the right kind of star, and it needs to have the right kind of space weather.
Mercury in exaggerated colour. The dark blue areas are rich in carbon.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Recent research explaining why Mercury is so dark raises many new questions.
How would people react to mining on the moon?
No one nation should be allowed to go it alone and develop a mining industry in space. It needs an international effort and Australia, with a long history in mining, can play its part.
Artist’s impression: Looking back 12.9-billion km towards the sun and the inner solar system from Sedna, one of the recently discovered minor planets in the Kuiper belt.
NASA, ESA and Adolf Schaller
The search for new objects, including new planets, in our solar system has turned up some interesting finds. There have been a few failures over the years too.
Juno in front of Jupiter.
Missions including ExoMars, Juno and Rosetta could make some major discoveries in 2016.
A new planet in our solar system? Let's get direct proof before we start naming it.
Artist rendered distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun.
Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
Scientists say they have evidence that the solar system has an extra planet, bigger than Earth and way beyond Pluto. So how come we never knew this before?
NASA’s Juno probe will be the fastest object humanity has ever created when it approaches Jupiter.
From the high-speed journey to Jupiter to solar eclipses, meteor showers and planetary alignments visible in the skies above -- add these space highlights to your 2016 calendar.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as seen from Rosetta.
Prepare to be amazed ...
Ceres, as seen by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on December 10, around a crater chain called Gerber Catena.
Dawn's mission director and chief engineer describes his 'dream come true' job – and how the new data coming back from Ceres could unlock some of the secrets of the earliest days of our solar system.
Artist’s depiction of the newly discovered Jupiter-like planet orbiting the star HD 32963.
Jupiter had a big influence on how our solar system's planets formed. New research – led by a high school student – tried to nail down how rare Jupiter analogs really are in other planetary systems.
Scientists are perplexed by the detection of molecular oxygen in comet 67P’s tail – a completely unexpected discovery.
Why finding molecular oxygen on comet 67P is a really big deal.
The early solar system was once a turbulent place.
The early solar system was a busy place with plenty of meteorite impacts on the new planets and moons. But finding evidence of such impacts on Earth can be tricky.
Dramatic, but not apocalyptic.
Stanimir G Stoev
A rare super blood moon visible from parts of the Earth this month will delight those people lucky enough to see it. But why has this marvel of the solar system got some people so worried?
A frozen lake of water-ice on the floor of a 35 km wide impact crater on Mars.
Copyright ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
Ice is everywhere in the solar system and there may even be liquid water beneath the surface of a number of planets. But could we ever get to it?
We know exactly what it looks like but have been unable to explain how it came into being - until now.
NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)
How a bunch of pebbles could have created Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.