Solar System/Asteroids

Location in the Solar System edit

(253) Mathilde, an asteroid.

Conventionally asteroids are divided into three groups based on location.

Asteroids in the asteroid belt edit

The asteroid belt is located between Mars and Jupiter.

Jupiter trojans edit

Jupiter trojans share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun, and are located about 60° ahead of or behind Jupiter in their orbits.

Near-Earth objects edit

Near-Earth objects are asteroids that spend at least part of their orbit closer to the Sun than Mars. Their perihelia are less than 1.3 AU (Earth–Sun distances) from the Sun.

Centaurs edit

Centaurs are objects orbiting between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune that cross the orbit of at least one gas giant. They have unstable orbits and have characteristics of both asteroids and comets. They are sometimes classified as asteroids.

Physical characteristics edit

"Families" edit

Mass, density, rotation edit

Composition edit

Chemical variations edit

Orbital features edit

Size edit

the sizes of asteroids may vary. some are huge and some may be as tiny as a speck of dust.

"Life span" of the asteroids edit

Ceres edit

Ceres is the largest asteroid, and in fact is a dwarf planet. See Ceres in the section on dwarf planets.

Gaspra edit

The Missing Planet edit

Origin of the asteroids edit

The Search For Eros edit