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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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Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on...
on January 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm
An international team of scientists is challenging our understanding of a part of Earth's history by looking at the Moon, the most complete and accessible chronicle of the asteroid collisions that carved our solar system. […]
Scientist anticipated "snowman" asteroid...
on January 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm
On Jan. 2, the New Horizons spacecraft made the most distant flyby ever attempted, successfully returning images of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. While the world is agog at the so-called "snowman" shape of this icy asteroid, the concept is nothing new to PSI scientist and artist, Bill Hartmann. The figure shows paintings that Hartmann made from 1978 to 1996, to illustrate the possible outcome of very low-velocity collisions of distant asteroids. These are compared with the first released […]
Double star system flips planet-forming disk into...
on January 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm
New research led by an astronomer at the University of Warwick has found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disc to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars. The international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) to obtain high-resolution images of the Asteroid belt-sized disc. […]
Space subjects that will get the world's...
on January 14, 2019 at 2:20 pm
The first few days of 2019 brought remarkable news from outer space. On January 1 NASA's New Horizons space probe made the most distant planetary flyby ever, and captured images of a small object 4 billion miles away from earth. The following day, China landed its Chang'e 4 rover, named Jade Rabbit 2, on the far side of the moon – another first. […]
Steam-propelled spacecraft prototype can...
on January 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm
Using steam to propel a spacecraft from asteroid to asteroid is now possible, thanks to a collaboration between a private space company and the University of Central Florida. […]
Interstellar objects like 'Oumuamua probably...
on January 11, 2019 at 1:17 pm
On October 19th, 2017, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System-1 (Pan-STARRS-1) in Hawaii announced the first-ever detection of an interstellar object, named 1I/2017 U1 (aka. 'Oumuamua). In the months that followed, multiple follow-up observations were conducted to learn more about this visitor, as well as resolve the dispute about whether it was a comet and an asteroid. […]
It looks like dark matter can be heated up and...
on January 11, 2019 at 1:02 pm
Look at a galaxy, what do you see? Probably lots of stars. Nebulae too. And that's probably it. A whole bunch of stars and gas in a variety of colorful assortments; a delight to the eye. And buried among those stars, if you looked carefully enough, you might find planets, black holes, white dwarves, asteroids, and all sorts of assorted chunky odds and ends. The usual galactic milieu. […]
Holy cow! Mysterious blast studied with NASA...
on January 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm
A brief and unusual flash spotted in the night sky on June 16, 2018, puzzled astronomers and astrophysicists across the globe. The event—called AT2018cow and nicknamed "the Cow" after the coincidental final letters in its official name—is unlike any celestial outburst ever seen before, prompting multiple theories about its source. […]
Do we really want a nationalistic future in space?
on January 10, 2019 at 4:28 pm
The annals of science fiction are full of visions of the future. Some are techno-utopian like "Star Trek" in which humanity has joined together in peace to explore the cosmos. Others are dystopian, like the World State in "Brave New World." But many of these stories share one thing in common – they envision a time in which humanity has moved past narrow ideas of tribe and nationalism. That assumption might be wrong. […]
Asteroid-circling spacecraft grabs cool snapshot...
on January 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm
An asteroid-circling spacecraft has captured a cool snapshot of home. […]