These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
Solar System : the sun together with the group of celestial bodies that are held by its attraction and revolve around it; also : a similar system centered on another star — Webster
Solar System is the gravitationally bound system comprising the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. Of those objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest eight are the planets, with the remainder being significantly smaller objects, such as dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies. Of the objects that orbit the Sun indirectly, the moons, two are larger than the smallest planet, Mercury.
The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system’s mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are terrestrial planets, being primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets are giant planets, being substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are gas giants, being composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants, being composed mostly of substances with relatively high melting points compared with hydrogen and helium, called volatiles, such as water, ammonia and methane. All planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic. — Wikipedia
Solar System News -- ScienceDaily Solar System Planets. Astronomy articles on the eight planets, plus the two dwarf planets, Pluto and Eris. Great pictures of everything in the solar system. Updated daily.
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New...
on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm
A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life. […]
Solar eruption ‘photobombed’ Mars encounter...
on September 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm
When Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed just 140,000 kilometers from Mars on 19th October 2014, depositing a large amount of debris in the Martian atmosphere, space agencies coordinated multiple spacecraft to witness the largest meteor shower in recorded history. It was a rare opportunity, as this kind of planetary event occurs only once every 100,000 years. […]
Unique type of object discovered in our solar...
on September 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm
Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. […]
New concept of terrestrial planet formation
on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm
Scientists are proposing a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets. […]
Mercury's poles may be icier than scientists...
on September 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm
A new study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory. […]
Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids
on September 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm
A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises 50 spacecraft propelled by innovative electric solar wind sails (E-sails) and equipped with instruments to take images and collect spectroscopic data on the composition of the asteroids. Each nanosat would visit six or seven asteroids before returning to Earth to deliver the data. […]
Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes'...
on September 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm
Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth -- particularly when a real disaster strikes. Yet, in space, similarly small fluctuations in the solar wind as it streams toward the Earth's magnetic shield actually can affect the speed and strength of 'space hurricanes,' a researcher explains. […]
NASA's Cassini spacecraft ends its historic...
on September 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm
A thrilling epoch in the exploration of our solar system has come to a close, as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a fateful plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet. Cassini's plunge brings to a close a series of 22 dives between Saturn and its rings, a feat never before attempted by any spacecraft. […]
Hubble observes pitch black planet
on September 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm
Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black. This discovery sheds new light on the atmospheric composition of the planet and also refutes previous hypotheses about WASP-12b's atmosphere. The results are also in stark contrast to observations of another similarly sized exoplanet. […]
New gravity map suggests Mars has a porous crust
on September 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm
Scientists have found evidence that Mars' crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet's interior structure and evolution. […]