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What is an asteroid?

Asked by G. dorgon, Last updated: Apr 02, 2020

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P. Micah

P. Micah

Answered Apr 01, 2020

Asteroids are the small bodies that orbit the Sun. They are primarily made of rocky or metal particles. Giuseppe Piazzi discovered asteroids in 1801. At first, he thought it was a new planet. This led him to originally name it Ceres, before he realized it was not a new planet.

He made this differentiation because when looking through a telescope, they resemble distant stars. This is why he named them asteroids, which mean star shaped. The band of asteroids that orbit the Solar System is known as the Asteroid belt. It is estimated to be over 600,000 asteroids in the solar system.

 

K. Parker

Love to do some charity work. Have a passion for writing and do it in my spare time

K. Parker, Philanthropist, Postgraduate, Cambridge

Answered Mar 22, 2020

Asteroids are naturally occurring solid or rocky materials that orbit the sun. They orbit the sun in a way very similar to how planets move around the sun. Asteroids are part of the solar system, but they are not the same as the planet, in fact, they look very smaller compared to the planets, and they are not comets either.

Although there are some asteroids that move around the sun in the same orbital path of the planets, the majority of them exist between the orbit of Jupiter and Mars. Also, there are some asteroids that exist in the orbit of Earth and some other planets, but they are not as much as those found between the orbit of Jupiter and Mars.

According to researches, asteroids are small portions that were left over after the formation of the solar system, which is about many billions of years ago. Another interesting thing about asteroids is that no two asteroids look the same.

 

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