Note: This is a 360° Video — press and hold to explore it!
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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Mapping the moon for Apollo
on July 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm
At an International Astronomical Union meeting in 1955, noted astronomer Gerard Kuiper asked for suggestions and collaborators on a project to make a map of the moon. At the time, the best lunar atlases had hand-drawn images, and Kuiper wanted to use state-of-the-art telescopes to make a photographic atlas. […]
Image: Martian meteorite on Earth calibrates...
on July 12, 2019 at 11:07 am
Exhibit 0102.226 may look like just a rock, but this dark and patchy mass is actually a piece of Mars, ejected when an asteroid or comet struck the Red Planet and sent chunks flying towards Earth. […]
For climbing robots, the sky's the limit
on July 11, 2019 at 11:20 am
Robots can drive on the plains and craters ofMars, but what if we could explore cliffs, polar caps and other hard-to-reach places on the Red Planet and beyond? Designed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a four-limbed robot named LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) can scale rock walls, gripping with hundreds of tiny fishhooks in each of its 16 fingers and using artificial intelligence (AI) to find its way around obstacles. In its last field […]
Hayabusa2: the asteroid probe seeking solar...
on July 11, 2019 at 8:46 am
Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe made its second touchdown on a distant asteroid on Thursday, in a bid to collect mineral samples that could reveal more about the solar system's evolution. […]
The Moon now has hundreds of artifacts. Should...
on July 11, 2019 at 7:40 am
Three rovers, six US flags, dozens of probes that either landed successfully or crashed, tools, cameras and trash: the Moon is dotted with hundreds of objects as a result of space exploration. […]
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe makes 'perfect' touchdown...
on July 11, 2019 at 7:33 am
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe made a "perfect" touchdown Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system. […]
Japan's asteroid probe Hayabusa2 set for final...
on July 10, 2019 at 8:24 am
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe began descending on Wednesday for its final touchdown on a distant asteroid, hoping to collect samples that could shed light on the evolution of the solar system. […]
Newfound kilometer-size asteroid orbits the sun...
on July 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm
Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest "year" known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometer in size and circles the sun roughly every 151 days. In its orbit, the asteroid swings out beyond Venus and, at times, comes closer in than Mercury, which circles the sun every 88 days. 2019 LF6 is one of only 20 known "Atira" asteroids, whose orbits fall entirely within Earth's. […]
Study suggests asteroids might play key role in...
on July 9, 2019 at 11:16 am
Picture this: A bacteria-carrying asteroid is ejected from the center of the galaxy into the far reaches of space only to be "captured" by a distant solar system, potentially bringing life to a new world. […]
Five reasons future space travel should explore...
on July 8, 2019 at 1:10 pm
On the same day that the Earth survived an expected near-miss with asteroid 367943 Duende, Russian dashcams unexpectedly captured footage of a different asteroid as it slammed into the atmosphere, exploded, and injured more than 1,000 people. That day in Chelyabinsk in February 2013 reminded the world that the Earth does not exist in a bubble. […]