Interesting Facts About Asteroid

Interesting Facts About Asteroid

  1.  In 1801, the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered what he believed was a new planet. He named the newly found object Ceres, after the Roman goddess of the harvest. Similar objects were found shortly after the discovery of Ceres. It was soon realized that these new objects were in fact not planets, but a different type of celestial body.
  2. Ceres is not only the first asteroid discovered but also the largest known asteroid with a diameter of 933 kilometers (580 miles). Ceres was given dwarf planet status in 2006, along with Pluto, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea.
  3. A trait these objects shared was their resemblance to distant stars, seen through the
  4. telescopes of the time (1800). Since they look like stars, the objects were called asteroids, meaning 'star-shaped'.
  5. The technology used to discover asteroids has improved dramatically since the original discoveries, and astronomers now have access to a range of powerful telescopes to aid in their research and discoveries.
  6. Asteroids are rich in precious metals and other metals, as well as water.
  7. A meteoroid the size of a car (a piece of an asteroid) falls into Earth's atmosphere about once a year. The result is a beautiful fireball, but the meteoroid usually burns up before reaching the ground.
  8. An asteroid about 0.15 kilometers (0.1 miles) wide over Siberia is believed to have exploded and caused damage within hundreds of kilometers (miles).
  9. Most asteroids are irregular in shape because they are too small to exert enough gravity to become spherical.
  10. While there are hundreds of thousands of asteroids in the asteroid belt, only about 200 are known with a diameter of more than 100 km, making the majority of asteroids really small objects.
  11. Current theories suggest that the asteroids found in the Asteroid Belt are the remains of a planet that did not form during the solar system's development.
  12. Some asteroids have their own moons.
  13. Some asteroids are blown-out comets. When the ice is gone, only the rocky material remains.
  14. While asteroid impacts were more common in the past, they are not that frequent today.
  15. An asteroid impact some 65 million years ago contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  16. Asteroids are tiny bodies in our solar system that orbit the sun. They are made of rock and metal and may also contain organic compounds (some scientists suggest that asteroids could have brought the necessary chemicals to start life on Earth).
  17. There are millions of them, and they are often grouped according to their composition.
  18. There are currently more than 600,000 known asteroids in our solar system.
  19. Asteroids are also referred to as minor planets or asteroids.
  20. Asteroids vary enormously in size, some measuring as little as ten meters in diameter, while others stretch for hundreds of kilometers. But objects less than ten meters in diameter are generally considered to be meteoroids.
  21. Most known asteroids in the solar system orbit the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This band is commonly referred to as the asteroid belt.

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