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
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
Centaurs are small solar system bodies with a semi-major axis between those of the outer planets. They generally have unstable orbits because they cross or have crossed the orbits of one or more of the giant planets; almost all their orbits have dynamic lifetimes of only a few million years, but there is one centaur, (514107) 2015 BZ509, which may be in a stable (though retrograde) orbit. Centaurs typically behave with characteristics of both asteroids and comets. They are named after the mythological centaurs that were a mixture of horse and human. It has been estimated that there are around 44,000 centaurs in the Solar System with diameters larger than 1 kilometer.
The first centaur to be discovered, under the definition of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the one used here, was 944 Hidalgo in 1920. However, they were not recognized as a distinct population until the discovery of 2060 Chiron in 1977. The largest confirmed centaur is 10199 Chariklo, which at 260 kilometers in diameter is as big as a mid-sized main-belt asteroid, and is known to have a system of rings. It was discovered in 1997. However, the lost centaur 1995 SN55 may be somewhat larger.
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New discovery: First asteroid population from...
on April 23, 2020 at 11:12 am
Ka'epaoka'awela asteroid surprised the world in 2018: It was the first object in the solar system that was demonstrated to be of extrasolar origin. But now, the researchers who discovered it have announced that it is not alone. Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societyon 23 April 2020, work by Fathi Namouni, a CNRS researcher in the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur/Université Côte d'Azur), and Helena Morais, researcher at UNESP in […]
Beyond Jupiter, researchers discover a 'cradle of...
on October 24, 2019 at 1:11 pm
Comets are known to have a temper. As they swoop in from the outer edges of our solar system, these icy bodies begin spewing gas and dust as they venture closer to the sun. Their luminous outbursts can result in spectacular sights that grace the night sky for days, weeks or even months.
Robotic spiders to explore the moon
on October 16, 2019 at 1:10 pm
There is no doubt that one of the hallmarks of the modern space age is that it is becoming increasingly democratic. In addition to more space agencies entering the fray, private aerospace companies are contributing like never before. It is no surprise, then, that there are innovators and entrepreneurs that want to increase public access and participation in space exploration.
Comet gateway discovered to inner solar system,...
on September 20, 2019 at 11:15 am
A new study led by a University of Central Florida researcher may fundamentally alter our understanding of how comets arrive from the outskirts of the solar system and are funneled to the inner solar system coming closer to Earth.
Image: Hubble views star nearing its end
on September 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 5307, a planetary nebula that lies about 10,000 light-years from Earth. It can be seen in the constellation Centaurus (the Centaur), which can be seen primarily in the southern hemisphere.