MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Is there any land in Outer Space? (except planets)

Date: Thu May 29 21:08:21 2003
Posted By: Donald E Duggan, Undergraduate, Astronomy/physics - fire science, just plain ol' home
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1054216301.As

Put simply, yes and no, there is land in outerspace aside from planets.  
One example would be the asteroids, rogues as well as the ones in the 
asteroid belt.  However, asteroids can range in size from small rocks, to 
a few miles in diameter, as in the asteroid Vesta, which is 320 miles or 
so in diameter.  Although maybe not your typical view of "planet size", It 
would look pretty much like another planet were it to smash into your or 
my neighborhood, and there is no hint of atmospheres on these asteroids.  
Other planet or land like objects in space are comets, of which most are 
thought to be dirty snowballs containing ice and dust rolled together in a 
ball.  Likewise, in interplanetary space is the precurser of land - dust, 
elements, etc. left over from exploded supernovae,
or newly formed stars.  In the case of newly formed stars, the dust, if 
there is enough of it, will one day coaelesce into planets as did our 
solar system.  Or so goes all we can theorize and glean from observation.

Donald E Duggan

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