For centuries, people believed the bright objects that seemed to wander among the stars were everything from gods to good-luck charms. It takes more than imagination, however, to see distant, moving points of light as planets.
Telescopes let us see them as other worlds, and spacecraft exploration revealed their landscapes. The four planets closest to the Sun are small, hard, and rocky. The four giant outer planets are mostly gas and ice. Beyond them lie icy worlds that were frozen into shape when the solar system was born.
|Mercury||Venus||Our Earth||Mars||Jupiter||Saturn||Uranus||Neptune||Pluto and beyond|