How old are asteroids compared to the solar system
7 April 2022
The majority of this ancient space junk may be found in the main asteroid belt, orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids range in size from Vesta, the largest at 329 miles (530 kilometers) in diameter, to asteroids as small as 33 feet (10 meters). The cumulative mass of all asteroids is less than that of the Earth’s Moon.
What is asteroids
Small stony objects that orbit the Sun are known as asteroids. Asteroids are significantly smaller than planets and orbit the Sun the same way as planets do.
- In our solar system, there are many asteroids. The majority are found in the main asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits.
- Some asteroids pass in front of Jupiter, and others pass behind it. Trojan asteroids are what they’re called. Near-Earth Objects, or NEOs, are asteroids that come dangerously close to Earth.
- Asteroids are remnants of our solar system’s formation, and NASA keeps a close check on them. Asteroids are mostly found in three regions of the solar system. A vast ring of asteroids exists between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits, which contains the majority of asteroids
- There are almost 200 asteroids in the universe. Larger than 60 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter are found in this primary asteroid belt. According to NASA, the asteroid belt contains between 1.1 million and 1.9 million asteroids larger than one kilometer (3,281 feet) in diameter and millions of smaller ones.
Once considered an asteroid exclusively, Ceres is now classified as a dwarf planet. Scientists have also discovered small rocky objects with tails termed “main-belt comets” in the last decade. While some of the tails are caused by things colliding with asteroids or asteroids dissolving, others could be disguised comets. Outside of the main belt, there are several asteroids. Trojan asteroids, for example, orbit the Sun in two distinct positions, 60 degrees ahead of and behind a larger planet, on the same route as the planet. The gravitational pulls of the Sun and the planet are balanced at these positions, which are known as Lagrange points.
- According to the International Astronomical Union’s database, Jupiter contains the most Trojans, with over 10,000 of them. There are a few Trojans on other planets: Neptune has 30, Mars has nine, while Earth and Uranus each have one that scientists have discovered so far. Many of the solar system’s moons, according to scientists, were previously asteroids that were grabbed by a planet’s gravity and turned into satellites.