Space

How much do scientists know about our solar system? Out of 8 planets, is ours really the only one to sustain life? How can meteorites tell us about other planets, and even how the solar system first began? Explore our universe with the help of the Museum, and discover the role the Museum plays in space exploration and research.

  • Saturn photographed by Voyager I © NASA
    Planets and our solar system

    As far as we know, there is only life on Earth. Will we ever discover otherwise? How much do we really know about our universe?

  • An artist's impression of a distant solar system © NASA
    Other planetary systems

    Whether or not our solar system is the only planetary system in the universe has intrigued scientists and philosophers for hundreds of years. So is there any evidence for extrasolar planets?

  • A pallasite meteorite, composed of gem-quality olivine crystals embedded in metal
    Meteorites

    Meteorites vary in size from a fraction of a millimetre to bigger than a football pitch and they fall to Earth all the time. Explore the fascinating facts about meteorites including how to find, identify and study them.

  • The asteroid Ida photographed by Galileo © NASA
    Asteroids

    What and where is the asteroid belt? And what makes an asteroid shoot away from the belt and crash to Earth?

  • A comet breaking into fragments © NASA
    Comets

    Comets, with their long tails, appear like ghostly apparitions that glide across the night sky. Discover more about these objects and what causes meteor showers on Earth.

  • 1997 Leonid meteors taken from space © NASA
    Meteors

    Meteors are often confused with meteorites. Do you know the difference? And what causes spectacular meteor storms, which can be seen at certain times of the year?

  • Gosses Bluff Crater, Australia
    Impacts

    Planets and their moons have collided with asteroids and comets frequently throughout our solar system's 4.5-billion-year history. How often is Earth hit and where is the biggest impact crater?