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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
- 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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Martian moon may have come from impact on home...
on September 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm
The weird shapes and colors of the tiny Martian moons Phobos and Deimos have inspired a long-standing debate about their origins. […]
Japan space robots start asteroid survey
on September 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm
A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, Japan's space agency said Saturday, as it conducts a mission aiming to shed light on the origins of the solar system. […]
First to red planet will become Martians: Canada...
on September 22, 2018 at 9:24 am
Astronauts traveling through space on the long trip to Mars will not have the usual backup from mission control on Earth and will need to think of themselves as Martians to survive, Canada's most famous spaceman half-jokingly said Friday. […]
Japan space probe drops hopping rovers towards...
on September 21, 2018 at 10:15 am
A Japanese space probe Friday released a pair of exploring rovers towards an egg-shaped asteroid to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system. […]
TESS shares first science image in hunt to find...
on September 17, 2018 at 6:49 pm
NASA's newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is now providing valuable data to help scientists discover and study exciting new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. Part of the data from TESS' initial science orbit includes a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the spacecraft's wide-field cameras. This "first light" science image captures a wealth of stars and other objects, including systems previously known to have exoplanets. […]
SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around...
on September 14, 2018 at 6:20 am
SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space. […]
VLBA measures asteroid's characteristics
on September 13, 2018 at 3:45 pm
In an unusual observation, astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to study the effects on radio waves coming from a distant radio galaxy when an asteroid in our Solar System passed in front of the galaxy. The observation allowed them to measure the size of the asteroid, gain new information about its shape, and greatly improve the accuracy with which its orbital path can be calculated. […]
Water in small dust grains can explain large...
on September 12, 2018 at 11:21 am
Water trapped in dust grains from which the Earth formed can explain the current large amount of water on Earth. […]
A galactic gem: FORS2 instrument captures...
on September 12, 2018 at 11:00 am
This wonderful image shows the resplendent spiral galaxy NGC 3981 suspended in the inky blackness of space. This galaxy, which lies in the constellation of Crater (the Cup), was imaged in May 2018 using the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph 2 - FORS2) instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope - VLT). […]
Scientists find evidence for early planetary...
on September 10, 2018 at 4:51 pm
Scientists at Southwest Research Institute studied an unusual pair of asteroids and discovered that their existence points to an early planetary rearrangement in our solar system. […]