Planets and our solar system

Our solar system consists of the Sun, 8 planets, satellites, comets and asteroids, but 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? Discover the Museum’s role in space exploration and research.

  • A pillar of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula.
    How did the solar system form?

    We know that the solar system formed around 4.5 billion years ago but what is the evidence for this and how did it happen?

  • An artist's impression of our home galaxy, the Milky Way © NASA
    Our place in the universe

    With a circumference of over 40,000 kilometres, the Earth feels very large. In relation to our solar system, our galaxy and beyond it is in fact tiny.

  • A view across the southern edge of the Sea of Fertility on the Moon © NASA
    The Moon

    Humans have been fascinated by the Moon for centuries and in 1969 we visited for the first time. But how did it get there? What is it made from? And why does it go through different phases?

  • The planets © NASA / JPL / Caltech
    The search for life: Astrobiology

    Are we alone? Explore the places in our solar system where life might be found in a search for life in our galaxy and beyond.

  • Surface of Mars
    Surface of Mars

    Take a virtual tour of Mars, looking out for the north pole and the ancient highlands as you rotate the Red Planet’s globe.