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 ?
However, its orbit resides within the Main Asteroid Belt, where no self-respecting comet has a right to be--yet it was seen to sport a tail that appeared to be very comet-like to observers.
Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit a body in the main asteroid belt when it explored the giant asteroid Vesta from 2011 to 2012.
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.
The amazing radar images, taken 106 million miles from Earth, are the first ever obtained from an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
A new study at Southwest Research Institute(tm) (SwRI(R)) has identified a recent asteroid breakup event in the main asteroid belt.
The main asteroid belt is a major source of near-Earth objects (NEOs), which are those asteroids and comets that come within 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) of Earth's path around the sun.
Most lie in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, but about 50 of them are previously unknown objects with paths taking them close to Earth's orbit.
Rosetta, composed of an orbiter and lander, is flying beyond the main asteroid belt.
Although the Moon is located far from Vesta, which is in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, they seem to share some of the same bombardment history," Pendleton added.
Researchers have found a trio of icy comets hidden among the thousands of rocks in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Most asteroids reside in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, though some, called near-Earth objects, can orbit much closer to Earth.
Ceres is one of several hundred thousand bodies that lie in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.