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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InSight steers toward Mars
on May 24, 2018 at 10:49 am
NASA's InSight lander has made its first course correction toward Mars. […]
New Horizons captures record-breaking images in...
on February 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft recently turned its telescopic camera toward a field of stars, snapped an image – and made history. […]
ALMA discovers cold dust around nearest star
on November 3, 2017 at 11:00 am
The ALMA Observatory has detected dust around Proxima Centauri. These observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of a planetary system. These structures are similar to the belts in the Solar System and are expected to be made from rock and ice. […]
Project Blue and the quest to photograph...
on October 24, 2017 at 1:15 pm
The world's collective imagination to answer the age-old question, "Are we alone," has been reignited now that we understand exoplanets – planets in orbit around stars other than Earth's Sun – are not uncommon. There's an increased urgency to develop capabilities for directly photographing exoplanets around nearby stars and to characterize their surface conditions and, Alpha Centauri, being the nearest star system to our own, has understandably become a focal point of current […]
Haumea dwarf planet has a ring to it: study
on October 11, 2017 at 6:16 pm
Move over Saturn! Scientists have found a ring around an unassuming mini-planet in our Solar System to debunk the theory that only giant planets can be so adorned. […]