solar mass


Definition of solar mass 

: the mass of the sun used as a unit for the expression of the masses of other celestial objects and equal to about 2 × 1030 kilograms

Examples of solar mass in a Sentence

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And the end result is a neutron star just under two solar masses, with most of that material being an exotic form of matter of unbound quarks and gluons. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Atoms may come apart as the Universe’s biggest stars explode," 24 Oct. 2018 Taking all that into account, the new analysis finds the two neutron stars involved in the merger, each weighing perhaps 1.4 solar masses, were rather small for that weight: about 12 kilometers in radius. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, "Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars," 5 June 2018 However, these same theories also predict smaller halos with sizes between 1,000 and a billion solar masses. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Dark matter halos may leave twinkling wake in galaxies," 31 May 2018 Our own sun is used as a unit of measurement in the Cosmos called a solar mass. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Instead, each grid element or particle stands for hundreds to millions of solar masses of stars and gas, depending on the resolution of the simulation. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy simulations are at last matching reality—and producing surprising insights into cosmic evolution," 30 May 2018 Most galaxies are thought to harbour a central supermassive black hole that weighs millions, or even billions, of solar masses. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "Here Come the Waves," 23 Apr. 2018 Of the 452 stars the astronomers were able to observe, 247 were bigger than 15 solar masses, which means that all of them are fated to explode in a supernova. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "The Universe is producing more massive stars than we thought," 4 Jan. 2018 And their data can only rule out stars of 500 solar masses with a 90-percent confidence. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "The Universe is producing more massive stars than we thought," 4 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solar mass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of solar mass

1941, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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The first known use of solar mass was in 1941

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