Asteroid Facts

Asteroid Facts
Asteroids are also referred to as minor planets, specifically within the inner Solar System. There are millions of asteroids in existence and are believed to have been created from objects that never grew large enough to become planets in the Sun's solar nebula. Asteroids are not to be confused with meteoroids or comets. Asteroids are composed mainly of rock and mineral and were formed close enough to the sun as to avoid cometary ice formation. Asteroids are larger than meteoroids, at more than a meter in diameter. Asteroid Day is observed June 30th each year.
Interesting Asteroid Facts:
The Asteroid Belt is a band of asteroids in the Solar System that orbit the Sun in both Mars and Jupiter's orbits.
There are approximately 200 known asteroids in the Asteroid Belt that are more than 100km in diameter.
There are hundreds of thousands of asteroids in the Asteroid Belt that are relatively small, unlike the 200 hundred with a 100km diameter or more.
Some theories suggest that the Asteroid's Belt's asteroids were created from a planet that failed to form during the Solar System's development.
If the asteroids in the Asteroid Belt were combined it is estimated that they would be roughly half the size of our moon.
Guiseppe Plazzi discovered the first asteroid in 1801. It was named Ceres. This asteroid is also the largest known asteroid with a diameter of 933kms.
The word asteroid was coined by William Herschel in 1802 - to mean 'star like'.
The smallest asteroid currently known is 1991 BA at only 6 meters in diameter.
It is believed that it was an asteroid's chain reaction that led to the distinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
At one time an asteroid is believed to have exploded over Siberia causing damage within hundreds of miles in radius. The asteroid is believed to have been .15kms in diameter.
The majority of asteroids have irregular, and not spherical shapes. They are too small to be affected by gravitational pull/
On average, one piece of an asteroid (called meteoroid) falls to the earth each year. In most cases it burns up before hitting the ground.
10 asteroids were discovered by 1849, 100 by 1868, 1,000 by 1921, 10,000 by 1989, and 700,000 by 2015.
The only main-belt asteroid that is visible on occasion to the naked eye is Vesta, which is just larger in diameter than 500km.
NASA established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office to help make early detections of potentially hazardous objects that are predicted to come within 8 million km's of earth's surface.
It is common for asteroids to collide with each other. This can result in asteroids being thrown out of orbit and onto collision courses with planets.
An impact event occurs when an asteroid collides with a planet. They can be devastating enough to cause extinction events.
The majority of asteroids that are on a collision course with earth are destroyed when they reach the upper atmosphere.
Craters can be created when an asteroid collides with earth. The damage extent is based on the size of the asteroid.


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