asteroid belt

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asteroid belt

(main belt) The zone near to the plane of the ecliptic and between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter that contains the majority of asteroids, known as main-belt asteroids. The edges are well-defined at distances from the Sun of about 1.7 and 4.0 AU respectively and the orbits are strongly concentrated in the plane of the ecliptic. Even so, the individual asteroids in the main belt are widely spaced. The orbital inclination becomes more scattered on moving through the belt. The average inclination is about 10° and the average eccentricity is 0.15. All the bodies are in direct motion. Occasional collisions between asteroids occur at velocities of about 5 km s–1. See also Kirkwood gaps.

asteroid belt

[′as·tə‚rȯid ‚belt]
(astronomy)
The region between 2.1 and 3.5 astronomical units from the sun where most of the asteroids are found.
References in periodicals archive ?
This denizen of the Main Asteroid Belt was "rediscovered" and renamed in 1996 as 1996 N2, and then designated a comet by Erik Elst and Guido Pizzaro.
The spacecraft is currently in the main asteroid belt studying the two objects.
In July 2011, Dawn reached its first destination, Vesta, the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt.
From the amount of sky searched, Sheppard and Trujillo determine that about 900 objects with orbits like Sedna and 2012 VP113 and sizes larger than 1000 km may exist and that the total population of the inner Oort cloud is likely bigger than that of the Kuiper Belt and main asteroid belt.
Particularly in the solar system's main asteroid belt - between Mars and Jupiter -- the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids.
The results match exactly what would be expected if the moon were hit first by objects from the main asteroid belt during a period called the Late Heavy Bombardment, roughly 3.
Vesta and Ceres are located in the main asteroid belt, a large region located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
At roughly twice the Earth-sun distance, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, lies the main asteroid belt - it contains millions of chunks of rock that are smaller than one kilometer (0.
Dawn is the first mission to visit Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
In 2010, Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at MIT, identified a likely explanation: Asteroids orbiting in our solar system's main asteroid belt, situated between Mars and Jupiter, are exposed to cosmic radiation, changing the chemical nature of their surfaces and reddening them over time.
These two bodies alone represent a little over 40% of the mass of the main asteroid belt.
If the culprit is an asteroid, it probably came from the Hilda family of asteroids in the outer part of the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.