A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System: one star, eight planets, and more
This website is an overview of the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of the planets, moons and other objects in our solar system. Each page has our text and NASA's images, some have sounds and movies, most provide references to additional related information.
Please visit our Astronomy news section which gives news, notes and general observations from Tom, we also have an interactive tour of the solar system (takes a while to load and opens in a new window)
All eight planets can be seen with a small telescope; or binoculars. And large observatories continue to provide much useful information. But the possibility of getting up close with interplanetary spacecraft has revolutionized planetary science. Very little of this site would have been possible without the space program.
Nevertheless, there's a lot that you can see with very modest equipment or even with just your own eyes. Past generations of people found beauty and a sense of wonder contemplating the night sky. Today's scientific knowledge further enhances and deepens that experience. And you can share in it by simply going out in the evening and looking up.
The IAU has changed the definition of "planet" so that Pluto no longer qualifies. There are now officially only eight planets in our solar system. Of course this change in terminology does not affect what's actually out there. In the end, it's not very important how we classify the various objects in our solar system. What is important is to learn about their physical nature and their histories.
Planet Order from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
The most recent version of this site can be found at