We're going on a tour of the solar system starting at Mercury and flying all the way out to distant Neptune. Newer images show a weathered natural land form with no hint of an alien face. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. In June 2017, astronomers revealed the planet now has 69 known moons. Astronomer Johan Elert Bode discovered the ice giant in 1781 with the help of a telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope turned its impressive eyes to Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, to take this lovely portrait in 2017. Mars is our most-explored planet beyond our own, which makes it feel larger than life. This swirling, color-enhanced image of Venus dates to February 5, 1974. Messenger left behind a fresh crater as a souvenir of its visit. The highest mountain on Venus, called Maxwell Montes, can be seen as a bright splotch below the center of the image. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Messenger launched in 2004, performed its first flyby of Mercury in early 2008 and went into orbit around the planet in 2011. Venus wouldn't make for a great vacation destination. As NASA says, "Earth is the perfect place for life as we know it.". NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave us our first decent views of far-distant Neptune. This Cassini spacecraft view from 2015 shows the hulking ringed planet with the smaller form of Titan in front. This wide-angle mosaic portrait shows everything from the expansive rings to the hexagonal jet stream at the north pole. My Quest to Make a True-Color Collage of Nine Planets. NASA's Viking 1 orbiter snapped this iconic photo of the Mars surface on July 5, 1976. This site is maintained by the Planetary Science Communications team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. In reality, it's much smaller than Earth. It's also the farthest planet from the sun in our solar system. While Uranus is often mocked for its humorous-sounding name, the planet is named after a Greek god of the sky. To print, click the print icon in the top right-hand corner of the thumbnail. A rose made of galaxies. NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured a series of Saturn images in 2016 at a distance of 1.9 million miles (3 million kilometers) from the planet. This view of the planet's north pole was made possible by cloud-penetrating radar. It looks like a prankster got loose over at NASA, but this image of a freaky … Saturn is much bigger than Earth. Come visit every one from mini Mercury to mysterious Neptune. Along the way, we'll witness an Earthrise, see the glorious rings of Saturn and peer at the enigmatic blue sphere of Uranus. It takes Neptune 165 years to complete one orbit around the sun. Like Jupiter, Saturn also has quite a few moons with a total of 62. The play of shadows, the low resolution of the image and an issue with the spacecraft's data transmission combine in a way that makes it look like there's a face staring up. NASA later revisited the same spot. NASA's Viking 1 and 2 orbiters checked out Mars in the 1970s. One year on Mars takes 687 Earth days. To display a larger image, just click the thumbnail. The planet's distinctive blue color comes from atmospheric methane. This stunner of a image is also a shout-out to the famous Apollo 17 photo from 1972 known as the Blue Marble. Jupiter has quite the moon collection. Neptune, like Uranus, is an ice giant. The lighter areas are cloud formations. This image from 2015 shows the Earth rising above the wavy lines of the moon's landscape. The crater that appears to have lighter rays emanating from its center is called Debussy for the French composer. Pack your bags. In 2006, Mercury took some time to transit the sun as seen in this dramatic composite image collected by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to … NASA says, "Venus is perpetually blanketed by a thick veil of clouds high in carbon dioxide and its surface temperature approaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit.". Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004 and is scheduled to destroy itself by plunging into the planet's atmosphere in September 2017. NASA refers to the sunlit image as a "Jupiterrise.". Both feature cloud swirls, visible land masses and the compelling blue hue of the planet's oceans. Mercury's path looks like a dotted line. NASA notes, "The speckled appearance of the image is due to missing data, called bit errors, caused by problems in transmission of the photographic data from Mars to Earth." "Neptune's atmosphere extends to great depths, gradually merging into water and other melted ices over a heavier, approximately Earth-size solid core," says NASA. Cloudy Saturn, a gas giant, isn't a hospitable place, but Titan is still a candidate to potentially host alien life. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie, ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Lamy / Observatoire de Paris. This image, taken in 1989, clearly shows the planet's two main rings. According to NASA, Uranus is a cold and windy place with 13 very faint rings and 27 small moons. Though telescopes have captured images of the planet, only one spacecraft has even taken pictures of Uranus over the years. It's also the smallest in our solar system ever since Pluto got demoted to dwarf-planet status. This was the Voyager 2 craft which performed a flyby of the planet … © CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This colorful view of the Caloris basin on Mercury is a mosaic image created with data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft. Mars is our most-explored planet beyond our own, which makes it feel larger than life. Most humans will never have the chance to visit the moon and look back at our third rock from the sun, but NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter did just that. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft caught sight of Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, in 1986 and sent back this luminous, blue-hued view. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. Uranus's faint rings are on display in this image that also shows bright auroras on the ice giant. It also hosts the frigid moon Triton, which orbits the planet in the opposite direction of its other moons. NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. NASA describes what we're seeing: "These bands, with alternating wind motions, are created by differences in the thickness and height of the ammonia ice clouds; the lighter bands rise higher and have thicker clouds than the darker bands. The mountain rises up 6.8 miles (11 kilometers), making it taller than Mount Everest here on Earth. Neptune is an incredibly windy place. Saturn's moon Titan reigns as the largest of the planet's 62 moons. The most incredible pictures of every planet in our solar system. NASA's Magellan probe visited Venus in the early 1990s. There are eight planets in our solar system (sorry, Pluto), and each has a unique story. Discuss: Tour every planet in our solar system through NASA images, NASA published this global view of Mercury, Mercury took some time to transit the sun, Red Planet is a mosaic of about 100 VIking images, this glowing view of the gas giant's south pole, New movie calendar for 2020 and 2021 following coronavirus delays, Photos shot on iPhone 12 Pro around Lake Tahoe, See inside a moon simulator here on Earth.