Note: This is a 360° Video — press and hold to explore it!
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
- Space Rocks! (1/4/2019) - It was a fantastic holiday season for space fans! In fact, there was so much going on, it was almost impossible to keep up with it all. According to your news sources and interests, you have probably heard about at least some of the amazing things that happened, but chances are you haven’t heard about … Continue reading Space Rocks!
- 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!
- Asteroids Galore! (6/27/2018) - Head’s up! You’re going to hear a lot about asteroids over the next week or so. The good news is that none of it is related to any specific asteroid hitting us. This media blitz is due to a trifecta of asteroid related events this week. One big reason you’ll hear so much about asteroids … Continue reading Asteroids Galore!
- Octopuses from Space! (5/20/2018) - Did you hear the one about the octopuses from space? It sounds like the title of a cheesy sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, this time, or at least, yet. Instead, it’s actually an oddball theory that’s been put forth in a recently published “scientific” article that’s getting quite a lot of buzz in … Continue reading Octopuses from Space!
- Asteroids Everywhere (6/30/2017) - Friday, June 30 is Asteroid Day, so you are going to be hearing a LOT about Asteroids over the next day or so (see Asteroid Day.org, NASA, YouTube and Wikipedia). The reason Asteroid Day falls on this date is because it’s the anniversary of the 1908 “Tunguska event” when scientists believe a 50 meter wide … Continue reading Asteroids Everywhere
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
asteroid : any of the small rocky celestial bodies found especially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter — Webster
Asteroids are a class of Small Solar System Bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids. Thus the term asteroid has come increasingly to refer specifically to the small rocky–icy and metallic bodies of the inner Solar System out to the orbit of Jupiter. They are grouped with the outer bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, which is the term preferred in astronomical circles.
There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the often shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets. A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter or co-orbital with Jupiter (the Jupiter Trojans). However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth asteroids. Individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups: C-type, S-type, and M-type. These were named after and are generally identified with carbon-rich, stony, and metallic compositions, respectively. — Wikipedia
Near-Earth Objects (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
Near Earth Asteroids (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
1+ KM Near-Earth Objects (Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union)
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- Asteroid samples tucked into capsule for return...on October 29, 2020 at 6:48 pm
A NASA spacecraft more than 200 million miles away has tucked asteroid samples into a capsule for return to Earth, after losing some of its precious loot, scientists said Thursday.
- Citizen astronomers reshape asteroids from their...on October 29, 2020 at 6:44 pm
There are nearly one million catalogued asteroids, but we don't know much about many of them. Now Unistellar and its scientific partner, the SETI Institute, can count on a network of nearly 3,000 amateurs capable of observing thousands of asteroids and providing an estimate of their size and shape. With mobile stations located in Asia, North America and Europe, the Unistellar network, the largest network of citizen astronomers, participates in cutting-edge research and has delivered its first […]
- Asteroid Ryugu shaken by Hayabusa2's impactoron October 29, 2020 at 6:41 pm
Professor Arakawa Masahiko (Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, Japan) and members of the Hayabusa2 mission discovered more than 200 boulders ranging from 30 cm to 6m in size, which either newly appeared or moved as a result of the artificial impact crater created by Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2's Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) on April 5th, 2019. Some boulders were disturbed even in areas as far as 40m from the crater center. The researchers also discovered that the seismic shaking […]
- NASA's Webb to examine objects in the graveyard...on October 29, 2020 at 1:04 pm
Beyond the orbit of Neptune, a diverse collection of thousands of dwarf planets and other relatively small objects dwells in a region called the Kuiper Belt. These often-pristine leftovers from our solar system's days of planet formation are called Kuiper Belt objects, or trans-Neptunian objects. NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will examine an assortment of these icy bodies in a series of programs called Guaranteed Time Observations shortly after its launch in 2021. The goal is to […]
- Study shows comets impacted start of life on earthon October 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm
The Big Bang may have started the universe, but it's likely that littler bangs played a key role in life on Earth, say Albion College Physics Professor Nicolle Zellner and Chemistry Professor Vanessa McCaffrey. They (along with former student Jayden Butler, '17) share their fascinating findings on the interspace dispersal of glycolaldehyde (GLA) in an article recently published by the journal Astrobiology.
- 4.5-billion-year-old ice on comet 'fluffier...on October 29, 2020 at 12:47 pm
After years of detective work, scientists working on the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission have now been able to locate where the Philae lander made its second and penultimate contact with the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014, before finally coming to a halt 30 metres away. This landing was monitored from the German Aerospace Center Philae Control Center. Philae left traces behind; the lander pressed its top side and the housing of its sample drill into […]
- International study uncovers secret surfing life...on October 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm
Sticking to the bodies of sharks and other larger marine life is a well-known specialty of remora fishes (Echeneidae) and their super-powered suction disks on their heads. But a new study has now fully documented the "suckerfish" in hitchhiking action below the ocean's surface, uncovering a much more refined skillset that the fish uses for navigating intense hydrodynamics that come with trying to ride aboard a 100-ft. blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus).
- Studying craters on asteroid Bennu shows how long...on October 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm
A team of researchers affiliated with a host of institutions in the U.S., Canada and Italy has found that studying the craters on asteroid Bennu allowed them to calculate how long it has been orbiting near Earth. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of craters formed on boulders on the asteroid.
- 'Fireball' meteorite contains pristine...on October 27, 2020 at 2:00 pm
On the night of January 16, 2018, a fireball meteor streaked across the sky over the Midwest and Ontario before landing on a frozen lake in Michigan. Scientists used weather radar to find where the pieces landed and meteorite hunters were able to collect the meteorite quickly, before its chemical makeup got changed by exposure to liquid water. And, as a new paper in Meteoritics & Planetary Science shows, that gave scientists a glimpse of what space rocks are like when they're still in outer […]
- Water on the Moon: Research unveils its type and...on October 27, 2020 at 12:20 pm
The Moon was for a long time considered to be bone dry, with analyses of returned lunar samples from the Apollo missions showing only trace amounts of water. These traces were in fact believed to be due to contamination on Earth. But over the past two decades, re-analyses of lunar samples, observations by spacecraft missions, and theoretical modeling have proved this initial assessment to be wrong.