COSSCIFinal - Jennifer Santiago The Physical World January...

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Jennifer Santiago The Physical World January 2010 Professor Walegur Asteroids Asteroids are rocky and metallic objects that orbit the Sun but are too small to be considered planets. They are known as minor planets. Asteroids range in size from Ceres, which has a diameter of about 1000 km, down to the size of pebbles. Most, however, are contained within a main belt that exists between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The first Asteroid discovered is Ceres and the largest and most massive body in the main asteroid belt. Asteroids are material left over from the formation of the solar system. One theory suggests that they are the remains of a planet that was destroyed in a massive collision long ago. More likely, asteroids are material that never coalesced into a planet ("Asteroids."). The highest concentration of asteroids is in a region lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. Some 7000 asteroids have been identified so far. Most, but not all, have average orbital radii lying in the region of the asteroid belt. It is likely that the origin of the asteroid belt lies in the gravitational
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perturbation of Jupiter, which kept these planetisimals from coalescing into larger bodies ("Asteroids."). The asteroid belt is a doughnut-shaped concentration
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This note was uploaded on 08/24/2011 for the course SCIENCE 101 taught by Professor Unknown during the Winter '11 term at Peirce.

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COSSCIFinal - Jennifer Santiago The Physical World January...

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