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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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Ancient stars shed light on Earth's similarities...
on October 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new UCLA study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique. The study was published in the journal Science on Oct. 18.
Near-Earth asteroids spectroscopic survey at the...
on October 17, 2019 at 4:26 pm
The study of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is driven by both scientific and practical reasons. Because of their proximity to our planet, they can provide key information regarding the delivery of water and organic-rich material to the early Earth, and the subsequent emergence of life. On the other hand, these small bodies of the Solar System have non-negligible long-term probabilities of colliding with the Earth, and can be targets of future space exploration.
Image: Foreground asteroid passing the Crab Nebula
on October 15, 2019 at 2:01 pm
When astronomers use the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the deep sky, asteroids from our solar system can leave their marks on the captured pictures of far-away galaxies or nebulae. But rather than be annoyed at the imprinted trails in Hubble images, astronomers realised they could use them to find out more about the asteroids themselves.
2I/Borisov: Interstellar comet with a familiar...
on October 14, 2019 at 3:00 pm
A new comet discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov is an outcast from another star system, yet its properties are surprisingly familiar, a new study led by Jagiellonian University researchers shows. The team's findings are being published in Nature Astronomy on 14 October 2019.
Study suggests ice on lunar south pole may have...
on October 10, 2019 at 8:14 pm
The discovery of ice deposits in craters scattered across the Moon's south pole has helped to renew interest in exploring the lunar surface, but no one is sure exactly when or how that ice got there. A new study published in the journal Icarus suggests that while a majority of those deposits are likely billions of years old, some may be much more recent.
Researchers discover how water is regenerated on...
on October 8, 2019 at 12:51 pm
Scientists have discovered how water molecules can be regenerated on asteroids moving through space, in an exciting breakthrough that could extend to other bodies such as the moon.
Saturn surpasses Jupiter after the discovery of...
on October 7, 2019 at 4:30 pm
Move over Jupiter; Saturn is the new moon king.
Astronomers find cyanide gas in interstellar...
on October 7, 2019 at 11:12 am
When the mysterious object known as 'Oumuamua passed Earth in October of 2017, astronomers rejoiced. In addition to being the first interstellar object detected in our solar system, its arrival opened our eyes to how often such events take place. Since asteroids and comets are believed to be material left over from the formation of a planetary system, it also presented an opportunity to study extrasolar systems.
Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded
on October 6, 2019 at 5:30 pm
A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.
A dusty lab in the sky
on October 4, 2019 at 4:50 pm
Joe Nuth loves dust. Among astronomers, that puts him in a minority.