asteroid belt


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Related to asteroid belt: Kuiper belt

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 ?
Not only is it headed toward Mars, but almost to the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt.
Part of NASA's Discovery Program, Dawn is a mission to the two largest bodies in the asteroid belt - Vesta and Ceres.
The images of 288P, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, revealed that it was actually not a single object, but two asteroids of almost the same mass and size, orbiting each other at a distance of about 100 kilometres.
Even though the asteroid belt contains more than a billion asteroids measuring over a mile long, the belt is not as crowded a region as you might think.
The team of NASA-funded researchers modeled the evolution of giant impact debris and analyzed ancient impact heating signatures in stony meteorites to conclude that pieces from the giant impact indeed did strike the asteroid belt.
Both Vesta and Ceres orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter, in the main asteroid belt.
Lead author Michael Kuppers of ESA in Spain, said that this is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere.
Between which two planets is the asteroid belt situated?
It possesses a rocky asteroid belt identical to the one that lies between Mars and Jupiter, and an outer ring of icy material similar to the Kuiper Belt at the edge of our Solar System.
The majority originate in the Asteroid Belt, but certain rare types come from the moon and Mars.
A fascinating and detailed study offering an iconoclastic commentary that rejects traditionally naturalist and materialist assumptions to account for the presence of the asteroid belt in our solar system, Joseph P.
For the first time, a spacecraft has been sent on a mission to study the asteroid belt.