solar mass

noun

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 smaller object, by contrast, was below three solar masses. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 22 Aug. 2019 In this case, the smaller object in S190814bv is estimated to be less than three solar masses. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Astronomers probably just saw a black hole swallow a dead star," 16 Aug. 2019 Their answer: The galaxy weighs around 1.5 trillion solar masses. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Scientists weighed all the mass in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s mind-boggling.," 27 June 2019 The second-farthest one known, reported on in 2011, tipped the scales at an estimated 2 billion solar masses after 770 million years of cosmic time. Quanta Magazine, "Earliest Black Hole Gives Rare Glimpse of Ancient Universe," 6 Dec. 2017 In this approach, collapsing clouds in the early universe gave birth to overgrown baby black holes that weighed thousands or tens of thousands of solar masses. Quanta Magazine, "Earliest Black Hole Gives Rare Glimpse of Ancient Universe," 6 Dec. 2017 The supermassive black hole at the center of that galaxy weighs 6 billion solar masses. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "We've Seen a Black Hole Directly for the First Time," 10 Apr. 2019 The black hole at the center of our own galaxy is just 4 million solar masses. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "We've Seen a Black Hole Directly for the First Time," 10 Apr. 2019 Its five-year orbit takes it in close proximity to its companion, a monster that could be more than 100 solar masses. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Just what’s happened to our neighborhood’s most violent star, η Carinae?," 6 Aug. 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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2 Sep 2019

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The first known use of solar mass was in 1941

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