Asteroid Belt

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The Asteroid Belt

The ring of asteroids whose orbit around the Sun is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

The total number is estimated at around 75 000 and 100 000. Several thousand have already been catalogued. For a long time, it was thought that they were the remnants of a destroyed planet. However, the current theory is that they are the dispersed matter of a larger planet that never actually formed because the condensation of this matter into a larger whole was prevented by Jupiter's powerful gravitational force.

The first asteroids, which remain the most widely known, were discovered at the beginning of the 19th century in the asteroid belt: Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. Ceres, Pallas and Vesta are the three largest[1] bodies in the belt.

Astronomy (Table)

Asteroid No. Name Diameter (Average) Date of
Discovery
Discovered by Symbol
1 Ceres 940 km January 1, 1801 Giuseppe Piazzi A21_039.gif
2 Pallas 512±3 km March 28, 1802 Heinrich Olbers a03_168_pallas.gif
3 Juno 267 km September 1, 1804 Karl Ludwig Harding A28_111.gif
4 Vesta 516 km March 29, 1807 Heinrich Olbers a05_243vesta.gif
5 Astraea 117 km December 8, 1845 Karl Ludwig Hencke
6 Hebe 195 km July 1, 1847 Karl Hencke
7 Iris 209 km August 13, 1847 John Russel Hind
8 Flora 135 km October 18, 1847 John Hind
9 Metis 190 km April 15, 1848 Andrew Graham
10 Hygiea 409 km April 12, 1849 Annibale de Gasparis
11 Parthenope 162 km May 11, 1850 Annibale Gasparis
12 Victoria 113 km September 13, 1850 John Hind
13 Egeria 208 km November 2, 1850 Annibale Gasparis
14 Irene 182 km May 19, 1851 John Hind
15 Eunomia 272 km July 29, 1851 Annibale Gasparis
16 Psyche 250 km April 17, 1852 Annibale Gasparis
42 Isis 100 km May 23, 1856 N.R. Pogson
52 Europa 300 km February 4, 1858 Goldschmidt, H.
511 Davida 326 km May 30, 1903 Raymond Smith Dugan
704 Interamnia 317 km October 2, 1910 V. Cerulli
3045 Alois January 8, 1984 Joe Wagner
Illustration from Verne's Off On a Comet[2]

See also

Weblinks

Bibliography

  • Demetra George, 1986, Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Reemerging Feminine, ACS Publications, Inc.

Notes and References

  1. Though the number of asteroid density measurements has begun to increase rapidly in the last few years, still only a tiny fraction of the known asteroids have usable density measurements
  2. French: Hector Servadac (1877) drawn by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux