The Solar System

Discover all you need to know about the planets, comets and asteroids that orbit the Sun and make up our Solar System. Read the varying theories about the origins of the Solar System and find out how you can become an amateur astronomer and view it with your own eyes.


No other planet has been studied as closely as Mars - but what do we know about the Red Planet? And could humans ever live there?


How high can you go? Get the low-down on all that's 'high up' in our fact-packed infographic. Who has flown the highest? Could we really build an elevator to space?

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The last transit of Mercury took place on 11 November 2019. Find out more about the science behind this extremely rare astronomical event.

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A supermoon occurs when the Moon is at its closest point along its orbit to the Earth at the same time as a full moon.


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

Mauna Kea Moonset © Sean Goebel.jpg

Blue moons, Harvest moons, Worm moons? Find out more about the ancient names associated with the phases of the Moon - and what they mean.


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

Blue Sky Moon © Michael O'Connell, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Our Solar System Winner 2009

There are two different definitions of a blue moon: in one there is a blue moon in 2019 whereas in the other, there aren’t any at all! In any case, these are fairly common events, happening once every two to three years.


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?

Mauna Kea Moonset © Sean Goebel.jpg