GEOL 212 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Kirkwood Gap, Orbital Period, Asteroid Belt
As we begin our survey of minor bodies of the solar system, we need to remember that: Some objects defy ready classification, including: centaurs - object whose orbits cross those of the outer planets. Objects that inhabit the inner solar system are: asteroids if primarily rocky, comets, if they contain significant ices that sublimate to form an atmosphere as they near the sun. Nomenclature: an asteroid"s official name combines a name from. Vesta (1807) made it clear that asteroids were not normal small planets but a new class of object. The main asteroid belt lies between mars and jupiter. The total mass in the asteroid belt is only ~0. 001 earth masses. Origins: the proximity of the main asteroid belt to the orbit of jupiter is no coincidence. Models indicate that as it neared its current size, Jupiter disrupted the accretion of planetesimals in its immediate vicinity by perturbing their orbits to prevent their achieving orbital stability.