Exploration reveals that our solar system is filled with amazingly diverse places that transform our understanding of Earth and worlds beyond.

The Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery probes the science and history of our exploration of planets, moons, and other objects in our solar system. This exhibit tells the stories of the diversity of worlds circling our Sun and how exploring those worlds helps enhance our own understanding of Earth. Exploring the Planets draws on research from scientists in the Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, who are actively involved in current planetary missions.

Learn about our donors 

Location in Museum National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
Gallery 205
Map of the second floor of the National Air and Space Museum's Washington, D.C., building, highlighting in yellow Gallery 205 on the south side of the building, three rooms west of center
Plan Your Visit
Related Topics: Spaceflight Spacecraft Astronomy Telescopes Stars Sun Solar System Moon (Earth) Small solar system bodies Dwarf planets Exoplanets Life sciences Physical science Robotics Satellites Take a Look Inside the Gallery

The entrance to the gallery.

A view from inside Exploring the Planets.

Preview the exhibit with a teaser video ... ... or take a step inside! Take a virtual tour of the exhibit Our Solar System Lunar Rocks Why Earth? Looking for Life on Other Worlds 4 Ways We Have Explored Our Planets Probing Hostile Planets Exploring the Red Planet with Robots How the Rocky Planets Got Their Shapes Tour the Planets in Our Solar System from the Outside In Neptune

The Blue Giant


The Tilted Giant


The Ringed Giant


A Giant Among Giants


The Red Planet


The Blue Planet & Our Home


The Hottest Planet in Our Solar System


The Swift Planet

The Museum gratefully acknowledges those who have generously supported this gallery.

Ken Griffin

You may also like AirSpace Ep.20:
When You Wish Upon a Star
Climate Change in the Solar System The Last Hours of MESSENGER Destination Moon National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC On View Exhibition
Museum Transformation Be the Spark

A major renovation is underway as we reimagine our galleries and presentation spaces in our iconic National Mall building in Washington, DC. Join us as we inspire a new generation of pioneers and explorers.

Learn About Our Transformation