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
- 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
- To touch the Sun (6/1/2017) - The big “space” news this week is that NASA has announced that they renamed the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft the “Parker Solar Probe” in honor of Eugene N. Parker, the astrophysicist from the University of Chicago who predicted the solar wind. The probe is scheduled to launch next summer and become the first mission to … Continue reading To touch the Sun
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.
Scientists deepen understanding of magnetic...
on July 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm
New research into waves that travel through Earth's magnetosphere deepen our understanding of the region and its interaction with our own planet, and open up new ways to study other planets across the galaxy. […]
Moon-forming disk discovered around distant planet
on July 11, 2019 at 7:09 pm
Using Earth's most powerful array of radio telescopes, astronomers have made the first observations of a circumplanetary disk of gas and dust like the one that is believed to have birthed the moons of Jupiter. […]
'Titans in a jar' could answer key questions...
on July 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm
Researchers from Southern Methodist University (SMU) could help determine if Saturn's icy moon -- Titan -- has ever been home to life long before NASA completes an exploratory visit to its surface by a drone helicopter. […]
Atmosphere of midsize planet revealed by Hubble,...
on July 2, 2019 at 8:46 pm
Two NASA space telescopes have identified the detailed chemical 'fingerprint' of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No planets like this can be found in our own solar system, but they are common around other stars. […]
Measuring the laws of nature
on July 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm
One of the fundamental physical constants, the 'weak axial vector coupling constant' (gA), has now been measured with very high precision for the first time. It is needed to explain nuclear fusion in the sun, to understand the formation of elements shortly after the Big Bang, or to understand important experiments in particle physics. With the help of sophisticated neutron experiments, the value of gA has now been determined with an accuracy of 0.04%. […]
Solar Flare News -- ScienceDaily Latest research news on solar flares, the solar cycle, geomagnetic storms and more.
Citizen scientists discover cyclical pattern of...
on July 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm
Citizen scientists have discovered that solar storms become more complex as the sun's 11-year activity cycle reaches its maximum -- a finding which could help forecasters predict which space weather events could have potentially devastating consequences for modern technologies at Earth. […]
Sun's history found buried in Moon's crust
on June 17, 2019 at 8:46 pm
The Sun's rotation rate in its first billion years is unknown. Yet, this spin rate affected solar eruptions, influencing the evolution of life. Scientists think they've figured it out by using the Moon as critical evidence. […]
Rare 'superflares' could one day threaten Earth
on June 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm
New research shows that the sun could experience a massive burst of energy called a superflare sometime in the next several thousand years. […]
The sun may have a dual personality, simulations...
on June 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm
A deep dive into the sun's interior provides new clues to the forces that govern that star's internal clock. […]
Solving the sun's super-heating mystery with...
on June 4, 2019 at 8:25 pm
It's one of the greatest and longest-running mysteries surrounding, quite literally, our sun: Why is its outer atmosphere hotter than its fiery surface? […]