Comets and Asteroids

What are Comets? and what are Asteroids?

What are Asteroids

Most asteroids lie in a vast ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This main asteroid belt holds more than 200 asteroids larger than 60 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter. Scientists estimate the asteroid belt also contains more than 750,000 asteroids larger than three-fifths of a mile (1 km) in diameter and millions of smaller ones. Not everything in the main belt is an asteroid — for instance, Comets have recently been discovered there, and Ceres, once thought of only as an asteroid, is now also considered a dwarf planet.

Where can you see asteroids?

Many asteroids lie outside the main belt. For instance, a number of asteroids called Trojans lie along Jupiter's orbital path. Three groups — Atens, Amors, and Apollos — known as near-Earth asteroids orbit in the inner solar system and sometimes cross the path of Mars and Earth.

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