|Mercury||Venus||Our Earth||Mars||Jupiter||Saturn||Uranus||Neptune||Pluto and beyond|
Painting by Adolf Schaller, OmniCosm Studios
Uncovering a Hidden World
Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Its volcanoes shaped the barren plains that bake under thick, corrosive clouds.
Fantasy Worlds Become Real
We once held very romantic views about other planets, especially our closest solar-system neighbors. Science-fiction writers imagined Venus as a lush “sister” to Earth, complete with jungles and dinosaurs. Mars enthusiasts dreamed of a world crossed by canals and populated by fantastic beings. A poet popularized the idea that the moon was made of green cheese. These flights of fantasy may seem silly today, but they propelled us to explore the solar system. Now our spacecraft show us the beauty of distant planetary landscapes.