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
- Touch the Sun (12/6/2019) - Remember how Icarus wanted to touch the Sun, but met his demise instead? Well, scientists at NASA wanted to touch the Sun too, but unlike Icarus, they succeeded! Better yet, they are beginning to share what they learned by doing it! Before we get into all of that, let’s go back and start at the … Continue reading Touch the Sun
- 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!
- Space Art & Junk (1/30/2018) - In certain circles it is not uncommon to trip across the debate “Is graffiti art?” You can also find scads about it online if you are so inclined (Google). However, the debate doesn’t come up all that often in the context of conversations about satellites or space… until now. Earlier this month a company named … Continue reading Space Art & Junk
- Umbraphiles (8/20/2017) - umbraphile : One who loves eclipses, often travelling to see them. — Wiktionary Yes, this is that obligatory post about “The Solar Eclipse” (NASA, Wikipedia). Of course, there had to be one — eclipses really are just too cool to ignore. You’ve already been bombarded with explanations of the science and history of eclipses, but … Continue reading Umbraphiles
- Auroras (7/17/2017) - There was a lot of talk about the potential of seeing Aurora Borealis (a.k.a. the Northern Lights) much further south than usual on Sunday night, but sadly, that didn’t pan out as predicted. The Northern Lights were a letdown in New England (Dialynn Dwyer, Boston.com) For anyone who is bummed about not seeing them, has … Continue reading Auroras
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
Sun : (1) the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve, from which they receive heat and light, which is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, and which has a mean distance from earth of about 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 kilometers), a linear diameter of 864,000 miles (1,390,000 kilometers), and a mass 332,000 times greater than earth (2) a celestial body like the Sun — Webster
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth, accounting for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. About three quarters of the Sun’s mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.
The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star (G2V) based on its spectral class. As such, it is informally referred to as a yellow dwarf. It formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud. Most of this matter gathered in the center, whereas the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that became the Solar System. The central mass became so hot and dense that it eventually initiated nuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that almost all stars form by this process.
The Sun is roughly middle-aged; it has not changed dramatically for more than four billion years, and will remain fairly stable for more than another five billion years. After hydrogen fusion in its core has diminished to the point at which it is no longer in hydrostatic equilibrium, the core of the Sun will experience a marked increase in density and temperature while its outer layers expand to eventually become a red giant. It is calculated that the Sun will become sufficiently large to engulf the current orbits of Mercury and Venus, and render Earth uninhabitable. — Wikipedia
Heliophysics means “physics of the Sun” (the prefix “helio”, from Attic Greek hḗlios, means Sun), and appears to have been used only in that sense until quite recently. In the early times, heliophysics was concerned principally with the superficial layers of the star, and was synonymous with what is now more commonly called “solar physics”. Usage was extended explicitly in 1981 to its literal meaning, denoting the physics of the entire Sun: from center to corona, and has been used in that sense since. — Wikipedia
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Sun News -- ScienceDaily News about the Sun. Science articles on Sunspots and the Sun's Corona; evidence the Sun has a companion star; images from the far side of the Sun and more.
- Neutrinos yield first experimental evidence of...on November 25, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Scientists report the detection of neutrinos from the sun, directly revealing for the first time that the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion-cycle is at work in our sun.
- Building blocks of life can form long before starson November 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm
An international team of scientists have shown that glycine, the simplest amino acid and an important building block of life, can form under the harsh conditions that govern chemistry in space.
- Tree rings may hold clues to impacts of distant...on November 11, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Massive explosions of energy happening thousands of light-years from Earth may have left traces in our planet's biology and geology, according to new research.
- Radioactive elements may be crucial to the...on November 10, 2020 at 8:11 pm
The amount of long-lived radioactive elements incorporated into a rocky planet as it forms may be a crucial factor in determining its future habitability. That's because internal heating from the radioactive decay of the heavy elements thorium and uranium drives plate tectonics and may be necessary for the planet to generate a magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from solar winds and cosmic rays.
- First brown dwarf discovered by radio...on November 9, 2020 at 6:24 pm
New research has led to the first direct discovery of a cold brown dwarf from its radio wavelength emission. Along with paving the way for future brown dwarf discoveries, this result is an important step towards applying radio astronomy to the exciting field of exoplanets.
Solar Flare News -- ScienceDaily Latest research news on solar flares, the solar cycle, geomagnetic storms and more.
- Stellar flares can lead to diminishment of a...on November 9, 2020 at 12:41 pm
Researchers identified which stars were most likely to host habitable exoplanets based on the calculated erosion rates of the planetary atmospheres.
- Ultraviolet shines light on origins of the solar...on October 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm
In the search to discover the origins of our solar system, an international team including planetary scientists has compared the composition of the sun to the composition of the most ancient materials that formed in our solar system: refractory inclusions in unmetamorphosed meteorites.
- Studying the sun as a star to understand stellar...on October 12, 2020 at 3:59 pm
New research shows that sunspots and other active regions can change the overall solar emissions. The sunspots cause some emissions to dim and others to brighten; the timing of the changes also varies between different types of emissions. This knowledge will help astronomers characterize the conditions of stars, which has important implications for finding exoplanets around those stars.
- A new look at sunspotson October 9, 2020 at 4:18 pm
NASA's extensive fleet of spacecraft allows scientists to study the Sun extremely close-up - one of the agency's spacecraft is even on its way to fly through the Sun's outer atmosphere. But sometimes taking a step back can provide new insight.
- New research explores how super flares affect...on October 7, 2020 at 4:30 pm
New research will help astrobiologists understand how much radiation planets experience during super flares and whether life could exist on worlds beyond our solar system.