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

Recent Examples on the Web The first black holes could suck in about one solar mass of material from the horizon around themselves. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Argue That Black Holes From the Big Bang Could Be the Dark Matter," 23 Sep. 2020 Just one supernova can eject more than a solar mass of oxygen. Ken Croswell, Scientific American, "An Elemental Problem with the Sun," 1 July 2020 Intermediate-mass black holes, weighing hundreds or tens of thousands of solar masses, could be expected to anchor the centers of smaller dwarf galaxies. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Deep in the Cosmic Forest, a Black Hole Goldilocks Might Like," 6 May 2020 The research team found the galaxy formed more than 1,000 solar masses a year in stars at its peak of activity, which is an extremely high rate of star formation. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Scientists have discovered an unusual 'monster' galaxy from the early universe," 6 Feb. 2020 The trouble is that LIGO’s data suggest this neutron star pair was substantially overweight—collectively, some 3.4 times the mass of the sun, which is half a solar mass heavier than the most massive neutron star binaries ever seen. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Did Astronomers Just Discover Black Holes from the Big Bang?," 13 Jan. 2020 The rate of star formation in a galaxy like this can reach a few thousand times the mass of our sun each year -- compared to our own galaxy, which forms three solar masses in a year. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Meet MAMBO-9, one of the most distant galaxies to ever be observed," 12 Dec. 2019 For this reason, most experts assumed black holes detected by LIGO and Virgo should top out at around 50 solar masses, the lower end of the mass gap. Quanta Magazine, "Possible Detection of a Black Hole So Big It ‘Should Not Exist’," 28 Aug. 2019 The end results of this catastrophe are the densest astrophysical objects known: a neutron star that squeezes several solar masses into a city-sized orb, or something even more extreme, a black hole. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "A Missing Neutron Star May Have Been Found after 30-Year Hunt," 25 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for solar mass

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The first known use of solar mass was in 1941

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solar mass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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