chapter09 - Chapter 9 Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9 Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets Why is there an asteroid belt? Asteroid Facts Asteroids are rocky leftovers of planet formation. The largest is Ceres, diameter ~1,000 km. There are 150,000 in catalogs, and probably over a million with diameter >1 km. Small asteroids are more common than large asteroids. All the asteroids in the solar system wouldnt add up to even a small terrestrial planet. Asteroids are cratered and not round. Asteroids with Moons Some large asteroids have their own moon. Asteroid Ida has a tiny moon named Dactyl. Asteroid Orbits Most asteroids orbit in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. Trojan asteroids follow Jupiters orbit. Orbits of near-Earth asteroids cross Earths orbit. Thought Question Why are there very few asteroids beyond Jupiters orbit? There was no rocky material beyond Jupiters orbit. The heaviest rocks sank toward the center of the solar system. Ice could form in the outer solar system. A passing star probably stripped away all of those asteroids, even if they were there at one time. Thought Question Why are there very few asteroids beyond Jupiters orbit? There was no rocky material beyond Jupiters orbit. The heaviest rocks sank toward the center of the solar system....
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chapter09 - Chapter 9 Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets...

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