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Now that we've passed the planet Mars, we are going to enter the Asteroid Belt.
Asteroids are huge chunks of rock, and can be can be metal, too. They were formed with the rest of the Solar System around 5,000 million years ago. There have been about 4,000 asteroids recorded, but astronomers think there are over 10,000 asteroids that are over 62 miles across, and greater numbers of small ones.In 1801 a man named Piazzi discovered the first asteroid. He thought it was a small planet, and named it "Ceres." Soon, other astronomers realized that it was not a planet, and they called it an "asteroid" which means "like stars."
Asteroids circle around the Sun like other planets do.
Lots of asteroid have an oval-shaped orbit. They orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. They call this ring of asteroids "The Asteroid Belt".Normally they never come near our home planet, but still, very rarely, some of their orbits come very close to The Earth. When their diameter reaches a certain point, they are called Killer Asteroids. Like our moon, The Earth has some craters. These craters are caused by asteroids entering our atmosphere and striking the surface of the Earth. Not all asteroids make it to the surface, though. They burn up while they are still in the atmosphere.
there are many different kinds of asteroids, but these are the main kinds:
Carbonaceous asteroids= These are common, stoney, and very dark, like coal.
Silicaceous asteroids= These can contain metal, and are very bright and stoney.
Metallic asteroids= These could possibly be the cores of much larger bodies.
Asteroids are fun to study, but sometimes they can dangerous. Some astronomers are still working on it and learning about them, but there is still more we have to learn.
Now that we've learned about the Asteroid Belt, let's go and explore Jupiter!