Cosmicopia title

Who among us has not asked, "Where did I come from?" This question is usually one about life, but behind it are scientific questions about the material of which we are made, the atoms and molecules of our bodies. The answer to the question "Where did the matter we are made of come from?" is not so easy to find. There is a whole series of related questions that are involved in understanding the cycles that matter goes through as the universe and the structures within it evolve.

A little history...

Cosmicopia was created in 1997 as a means to share the science of the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) mission with the public. Much of the original structure and content were based on a brochure about the mission and its scientific aims and interests. You can view the ACE brochure in PDF format (5 MB).

The site was originally named the Cosmic and Heliospheric Learning Center, in reference to the wealth of content about cosmic rays and heliospheric science. The name was changed to Cosmicopia in 2005, to provide the site with a title that is short and appealing.

Cosmicopia is brought to you by the cosmic ray group in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

What is a Cosmicopia?

The word cosmicopia is a combination of two words:

  • cosmic ("of or relating to the cosmos")
    The word cosmic refers to the content of this learning center, which is about topics related to space and the universe. It is also a reference to cosmic rays, which are a focus of this site.

  • cornucopia ("an inexhaustible store")
    You may have heard of a cornucopia as a "horn of plenty," historically filled with fruit and grain. But more generally, it is a symbol of abundance. Scientists often speak of particles (or atoms) in terms of "abundance," which refers to the quantity of a specific particle present within a whole.
We hope that you will find this site to have an abundance of useful information about a variety of space science topics, especially cosmic rays, the Sun, and space weather.


TRACE sun mosaic Supernova 1006 (ASCA) 30
Doradus ACE
spacecraft TRACE solar flare IMAGE magnetosphere
Click on images above to learn more about them

A service of the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's GSFC

Questions and comments to:
Curator: Dr Eric R. Christian, NASA
Responsible NASA Official: Dr Eric R. Christian

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This file was last modified: December 20, 2006