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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Dwarf planet Ceres is an ocean world: study
on August 10, 2020 at 5:29 pm
The dwarf planet Ceres—long believed to be a barren space rock—is an ocean world with reservoirs of sea water beneath its surface, the results of a major exploration mission showed Monday.
Huge ring-like structure on Ganymede's surface...
on August 7, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Researchers from Kobe University and the National Institute of Technology, Oshima College have conducted a detailed reanalysis of image data from Voyager 1, 2 and Galileo spacecraft in order to investigate the orientation and distribution of the ancient tectonic troughs found on Jupiter's moon Ganymede. They discovered that these troughs are concentrically distributed across almost the entire surface of the satellite. This global distribution indicates that these troughs may be actually part of […]
OSIRIS-REx is one rehearsal away from touching...
on August 6, 2020 at 7:52 pm
NASA's first asteroid sampling spacecraft is making final preparations to grab a sample from asteroid Bennu's surface. Next week, the OSIRIS-REx mission will conduct a second rehearsal of its touchdown sequence, practicing the sample collection activities one last time before touching down on Bennu this fall.
Observatory returns from tropical storm Isaias...
on August 6, 2020 at 7:38 pm
The Earth has one less asteroid to worry about thanks to the research of an international team of scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
Fragments of asteroids may have jumped the gap in...
on August 6, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Using some cosmic detective work, a team of researchers has found evidence that tiny pieces of asteroids from the inner solar system may have crossed a gap to the outer solar system, a feat once thought to be unlikely.
NASA scientists leverage carbon-measuring...
on August 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm
Insights and technology gleaned from creating a carbon-measuring instrument for Earth climate studies is being leveraged to build another that would remotely profile, for the first time, water vapor up to nine miles above the Martian surface, along with wind speeds and minute particles suspended in the planet's atmosphere.
Study clarifies kinship of important plant group
on August 5, 2020 at 8:11 pm
Asterids comprise around 100,000 flowering plants, from heather to tomatoes. Up to now, their family relationships had not yet been fully clarified. A new study by the University of Bonn, Pennsylvania State University (U.S.) and Fudan University (China) has now somewhat closed this knowledge gap. It is the world's most detailed phylogenetic analysis ever conducted for asterids. The results of the study have been published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Lava tubes on Mars and the Moon are so wide they...
on August 5, 2020 at 3:49 pm
The international journal Earth-Science Reviews published a paper offering an overview of lava tubes (pyroducts) on Earth, eventually providing an estimate of the (greater) size of their lunar and Martian counterparts.
NASA's Lucy mission passes critical mission...
on August 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm
Last week marked the completion of a major milestone on the path to spacecraft assembly, test, and launch operations for NASA's Lucy mission.
Lucy mission one step closer to the Trojan...
on August 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm
NASA's Lucy mission, led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has achieved an important milestone by passing its System Integration Review and clearing the way for spacecraft assembly. This NASA Discovery Program class mission will be the first to explore Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter and hold important insights to understanding the early solar system.