Planets

Read all about the eight different planets in the Solar System - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - and how they differ. Plus, find out why Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, and discover fascinating facts about tidal forces.

Jupiter with lo and Ganymede © Damian Peach, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Our Solar System and overall winner 2011

The planet Jupiter's more massive than all the other planets in the Solar System put together. It's a stormy mass of raging gas and metallic hydrogen.

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How far can you go? Get all the far-out facts in our infographic. What's the furthest man-made object in space, and what's the longest non-stop flight of a bird?

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The planet Mars: perfect if you like freezing dust clouds of tremendous intensity but dislike oxygen and gravity.

Color-Full Moon © Nicolas Lefaudeux

Do we really need the Moon in the night sky? What is its actual purpose?

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The next transit of Mercury will be on 11 November 2019.

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Since the very beginning of space exploration, animals have been used in space programmes. Find out what pioneering animals travelled in space, and which was the first to orbit the Earth. 

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The planet Neptune is the furthest planet from the Sun and is orbited by Triton.

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In the 50 years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing, humans have made extraordinary progress in space exploration. But what is the next giant leap for crewed spaceflight – and could 'space tourism' soon become a reality?

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Satellites orbit planets, which orbit the Sun, which in turn orbits the centre of the Milky Way. But why?

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How did the Sun, planets and moons in the Solar System form? There is a surprising amount of debate and several strong and competing theories, but do scientists have an answer?

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