Basically, objects like

  • Asteroids
  • Meteoroids
  • Meteors
  • Meteorites
  • Comets
  • Etc.

As stated in the title, this also doesn't count human-made objects, such as

  • Space junk
  • Satellites,
  • Space stations,
  • Rockets or shuttles
  • Other crafts

Nor does it count what I'll call here massive or unrelated objects , such as stuff like

  • Dwarf planets
  • Planetesimals
  • Proto-planets
  • Moons
  • Etc.

Here's a visual representation of what I mean that I whipped up in a minute:


  • these are related but cannot be put under a common name. – Nikita Shrivastava Oct 22 '15 at 5:31
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    Cosmic bodies? Space matter? – Ricky Oct 22 '15 at 6:08
  • @TechieBee: Yes, they can. Everything can. – SarahofGaia Oct 22 '15 at 22:36
  • @Ricky: Too general. You can call objects that are not among these smaller bodies either cosmic bodies or space matter. – SarahofGaia Oct 22 '15 at 22:37
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    By the definitions you give in your other question, isn't it the case that "meteors" and "meteorites" are not in space? They don't really seem to fit. – herisson Oct 22 '15 at 22:41

After a bit more research, I found my answer: small Solar System bodies (SSSB) is the official IAU term used for anything that is not a planet, dwarf planet, or moon.

In the article on the IAU site, "Pluto and the Developing Landscape of Our Solar System", they define it as:

a new IAU definition to encompass all objects orbiting the Sun that are too small (not sufficiently massive) to satisfy the definition of planet or dwarf planet.

For a more formal definition of the term, one can refer to the IAU's Resolution B5, made in 2006:

(3) All other objects³,except satellites, orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar System Bodies".

[Footnote 3] "These currently include most of the Solar System asteroids, most Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs),comets, and other small bodies."

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  • I take it back. This term doesn't work either. Per @sumelic's comment above, meteors and meteorites are not technically in space, so this term I don't think encompasses them. Although it would work if one takes out those two terms; alas, that's not what I'm doing. – SarahofGaia Oct 22 '15 at 23:03
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    How is "small solar system bodies" a (generic) word? – Drew Dec 22 '15 at 4:56

The prefix "astro" has that meaning ("​relating to ​space, the ​planets, ​stars, or other ​objects in ​space").

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    Yes, but two problems there: (1) Just as with the terms cosmic bodies, space matter, and heavenly body (see above), it's much too vague for the definition I'm referring to. You can call nearly anything any of these former three terms. And (2) Although astro is a prefix, I'm pretty sure it is not, unfortunately, a noun by itself; after all, I doubt you could use it like the sentence, "The astro over beyond the far side of the planet is approx. 500 km in diametre." – SarahofGaia Oct 22 '15 at 22:43

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