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Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid
- Space Rocks! (1/4/2019) - It was a fantastic holiday season for space fans! In fact, there was so much going on, it was almost impossible to keep up with it all. According to your news sources and interests, you have probably heard about at least some of the amazing things that happened, but chances are you haven’t heard about … Continue reading Space Rocks!
- Get Lost in Space! (9/14/2018) - Way back in August, in anticipation of the start of a new school year, I set out to update the pages on this site related to space. Those pages tend to be popular among the teachers and students who use Cosma, and I happen to enjoy updating them, too. It sounded like a short, fun … Continue reading Get Lost in Space!
- Asteroids Galore! (6/27/2018) - Head’s up! You’re going to hear a lot about asteroids over the next week or so. The good news is that none of it is related to any specific asteroid hitting us. This media blitz is due to a trifecta of asteroid related events this week. One big reason you’ll hear so much about asteroids … Continue reading Asteroids Galore!
- Octopuses from Space! (5/20/2018) - Did you hear the one about the octopuses from space? It sounds like the title of a cheesy sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, this time, or at least, yet. Instead, it’s actually an oddball theory that’s been put forth in a recently published “scientific” article that’s getting quite a lot of buzz in … Continue reading Octopuses from Space!
- Asteroids Everywhere (6/30/2017) - Friday, June 30 is Asteroid Day, so you are going to be hearing a LOT about Asteroids over the next day or so (see Asteroid Day.org, NASA, YouTube and Wikipedia). The reason Asteroid Day falls on this date is because it’s the anniversary of the 1908 “Tunguska event” when scientists believe a 50 meter wide … Continue reading Asteroids Everywhere
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
asteroid : any of the small rocky celestial bodies found especially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter — Webster
Asteroids are a class of Small Solar System Bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids. Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small rocky–icy and metallic bodies of the inner Solar System out to the orbit of Jupiter. They are grouped with the outer bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, which is the term preferred in astronomical circles.
There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the often shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets. A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter or co-orbital with Jupiter (the Jupiter Trojans). However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth asteroids. Individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups: C-type, S-type, and M-type. These were named after and are generally identified with carbon-rich, stony, and metallic compositions, respectively. — Wikipedia
Near-Earth Objects (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
Near Earth Asteroids (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
1+ KM Near-Earth Objects (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
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Asteroid impact enriches certain elements in...
on February 21, 2020 at 2:58 pm
Asteroid strikes upset the environment and provide clues via the elements they leave behind. Now, University of Tsukuba researchers have linked elements that are enriched in the Cretaceous–Paleogene (KPg) boundary clays from Stevns Klint, Denmark, to the impact of the asteroid that produced the Chicxulub crater at the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. This corresponds to one of the "Big Five" mass extinctions, which occurred at the KPg boundary at the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million […]
Smaller animals faced surprisingly long odds in...
on February 21, 2020 at 12:30 pm
A new fossil study from Stanford University shows extinction was unexpectedly common among smaller sea creatures in the deep past.
How better propulsion systems can improve space...
on February 21, 2020 at 12:24 pm
Aero/Astro engineer Ken Hara is developing computer models to help make a little-known, but widely-used thruster engine more suitable for long-distance missions.
Engineers devise a decision map to identify the...
on February 19, 2020 at 12:32 pm
On April 13, 2029, an icy chunk of space rock, wider than the Eiffel Tower is tall, will streak by Earth at 30 kilometers per second, grazing the planet's sphere of geostationary satellites. It will be the closest approach by one of the largest asteroids crossing Earth's orbit in the next decade.
First research results on the 'spectacular...
on February 18, 2020 at 5:37 pm
A fireball in the sky, accompanied by a bang, amazed hundreds of eyewitnesses in northern Germany in mid-September last year. The reason for the spectacle was a meteoroid entering the Earth's atmosphere and partially burning up. One day after the observations, a citizen in Flensburg found a stone weighing 24.5 grams and having a fresh black fusion crust on the lawn of his garden.
Status update: OSIRIS-REx Osprey Flyover
on February 14, 2020 at 2:50 pm
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft safely executed a 0.4-mile (620-m) flyover of the backup sample collection site Osprey as part of the mission's Reconnaissance B phase activities. Preliminary telemetry, however, indicates that the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) did not operate as expected during the 11-hour event. The OLA instrument was scheduled to provide ranging data to the spacecraft's PolyCam imager, which would allow the camera to focus while imaging the area around the sample collection […]
Astronomers discover potential near earth objects
on February 12, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Three astronomers from Leiden University (the Netherlands) have shown that some asteroids that are considered harmless for now can collide with the earth in the future. They did their research with the help of an artificial neural network. The results have been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Asteroid experts catch final glimpse of Solar...
on February 12, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Last night, ESA's Planetary Defence team observed the rare moment in which an object escaped our planet's gravity, in contrast to their normal objects of study—potentially hazardous rocks that could strike it.
Study reveals details of 'golf ball asteroid'
on February 11, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, and now astronomers at MIT and elsewhere have observed an asteroid so heavily cratered that they are dubbing it the "golf ball asteroid."
Supercharged light pulverises asteroids, study...
on February 10, 2020 at 2:31 pm
The majority of stars in the universe will become luminous enough to blast surrounding asteroids into successively smaller fragments using their light alone, according to a University of Warwick astronomer.