AS 101: ASTEROIDS
The rocky bits of chapter 12
Questions of the day:
• What are asteroid orbits like?
• What are asteroids like?
• How are meteorites and asteroids connected?
• Stars don’t move as fast as asteroids
• The first asteroids was discovered 200 years ago
• Took 50 years to discover 10 of them
• 150,000 asteroids known today
• Typical distance between asteroids are millions of km
• Collisions are rare, but they do occur
• Trojan asteroids – Share an orbit with Jupiter
• Some have orbits that pass near Earth
• No gaps visible in belt
• There are very few asteroids in the orbit of Mars.
• There are very few asteroids outside about 3.5 AU from the sun.
• The inner boundary of the asteroid belt is very close to the orbit of Mars when the
outer boundary is much farther from orbit of Jupiter.
• Gap appear if we arrange as