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14 Unbelievable Images That Were Shot In Our Solar System

You have to be on location to get these shots — on location in outer space! While these science cameras explore the universe, you can explore our solar system in Destiny, available now!

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1. Mercury's very own satellite.

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, which recently celebrated its 10-year launch anniversary in August, has been in a steady orbit around Mercury since 2011 and has gathered 255,858 images since its launch. It was a risk sending the small satellite on the mission, but after a decade in space, the images captured have been invaluable to understanding our solar system's smallest planet.

2. Earth-sized solar flare.

NASA / Handout / Getty Images

This image of the sun depicts an eruption that extended 160,000 miles out from the sun, which — let's just say — is a lot bigger than Earth.

3. Finding Venus.

in the 1960s, Venus was thought to be Earth's exact twin with the potential for hiding advanced civilization beneath its dense clouds. The two images above show the planet silhouetted by the sun taken from Riverside Park in Manhattan and NASA's SDO satellite, respectively.

4. The Martian rovers.

Moving farther from Earth, we have robotic photographers on the surface of Mars! In addition to the Curiosity Mars rover NASA has two other rovers on the planet as part of its Mars Exploration Rover Mission: the Spirit and Opportunity. The crater above, named Echus Chasma, was first captured by the ESA's Mars Express, and the image of the planet's horizon was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

6. Saturn silhouetted.

NASA / Handout / Getty Images

The Cassini spacecraft also visited Saturn and captured one of the most unexpected photos of the planet silhouetted by the sun. It shocked scientists to see a small dot in the lower right corner, believed to be Earth (this being the first known image of Earth from this distance).

7. The dark side of Uranus.

Time Life Pictures / Contributor / Getty images

This isn't just a fun butt joke, it's an actual image taken by NASA's Voyager 2 of the seventh planet. It passed Uranus in 1986 and recorded data about its rings and moons. Eventually, Voyager 2 will exit our solar system and enter interstellar space.

8. The farthest planet from the sun.

Science & Society Picture Library / Contributor / Getty Images

These photos of Neptune were also taken by Voyager 2. The image was one of the last images taken of the planet before the spacecraft left its orbit (it was taken through the green-orange filter, which is why it appears to be purple).

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