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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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Meteorite source in asteroid belt not a single...
on February 17, 2019 at 6:50 pm
A new study published online in Meteoritics and Planetary Science finds that our most common meteorites, those known as L chondrites, come from at least two different debris fields in the asteroid belt. The belt contains many debris fields created from former dwarf planets, or dwarf planets in the making, that collided long ago. These fragments, called asteroids, continue to collide, producing the meteorites that fall to Earth today. […]
From Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The meteor connection
on February 15, 2019 at 2:24 pm
On February 1, 2019 a bright meteor crossed the sky over Cuba in the middle of the day. The phenomenon, which was followed by a smoke trail (a characteristic cloud left by the burn in the atmosphere of a meteoroid) and a sonic boom, was witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists in the region of Pinar del Rio (western side of the island). […]
Carbonaceous chondrites provide clues about the...
on February 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm
An international study led by researchers from the Institute of Space Sciences, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya has discovered that carbonaceous chondrites, a class of meteorites, incorporated hydrated minerals along with organic material from the protoplanetary disk before the formation of planets. The researchers, who have published their results in the journal Space Science Reviews, note that these meteorites played "an […]
How to keep lunar samples safe
on February 13, 2019 at 9:33 am
A lunar rover that can analyse samples in situ and a Europe-wide facility to store extraterrestrial samples will help to protect moon samples from contamination and increase their usability in scientific experiments. […]
Insulating crust kept cryomagma liquid for...
on February 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm
A recent NASA mission to the dwarf planet Ceres found brilliant, white spots of salts on its surface. New research led by The University of Texas at Austin in partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) delved into the factors that influenced the volcanic activity that formed the distinctive spots and that could play a key role in mixing the ingredients for life on other worlds. […]
Mosquitoes that carry malaria may have been doing...
on February 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm
The anopheline mosquitoes that carry malaria were present 100 million years ago, new research shows, potentially shedding fresh light on the history of a disease that continues to kill more than 400,000 people annually. […]
NASA finds possible second impact crater under...
on February 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm
A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland. […]
The composition of ancient meteorites
on February 8, 2019 at 2:46 pm
A team of Japanese and American scientists has visualized meteorite components at higher resolution than ever before. Their efforts have resulted in an enhanced understanding of substances inside carbonaceous chondrites, the organic-compound-containing meteorites that land on Earth. These substances include hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and water, all of which are needed for life. […]
To save the Earth someday, team builds spacecraft...
on February 8, 2019 at 2:40 pm
A team of scientists, astronomers and engineers meets weekly in a conference room on a Howard County, Md., research campus and plans to save the world. […]
Video: Planetary scientist talks about her work...
on February 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm
What can the asteroid Bennu tell us about the universe and its origins? Assistant astronomy professor Cristina Thomas talked to NAU-TV about her experience as a team member of NASA's OSIRIS REx mission, which landed on the asteroid late last year and is collecting samples of regolith, or loose surface material, which scientists think may have answers about the earliest history in the solar system. […]