About Asteroids

Fallen asteroid?
Fallen asteroid? | Source

What Asteroids Are

Asteroids are celestial bodies the size of which is from several feet to thousands of miles in diameter. On the whole, there is no precise difference between asteroids and meteorites. Some scientists believe that the bigger part of meteorites is splinters of asteroids. Asteroids, just like meteorites, are celestial bodies containing nickel, iron and all sorts of rocks. In their composition they are very much like planets.

The majority of asteroids are composed of chondrites, stone-like minerals of grey, red and brown color. In the cut of a meteorite you can see a grain-like structure. This is an ID of a meteorite that cannot be found elsewhere in nature.

Asteroids are called this way because of their resemblance to stars. In Greek, the word "asteroid" means "similar to stars." The fact is, when observed through a telescope, these flying stones look like small shining points, just like stars in the night sky.

Have you ever seen a meteorite falling?

  • Yes.
  • No, never.
  • No, but I often look up to the sky hoping to see one.
  • I'm not interested in falling meteorites.
See results without voting

Asteroids in the Solar System

The majority of asteroids can be found between orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. Jupiter interferes with the movement of asteroids thus making them hit each other and change their orbits. Some of them would then come closer to the Sun, others would drift further.

Some asteroids can be found behind Neptune's orbit which has its own asteroid belt. Some of those are as huge as 160 miles in diameter. Astronomers call this place Kuiper belt. However celestial bodies inhabiting that part of the Solar System are much more like comets in their composition. Pluto's orbit is inside that asteroid belt.

Asteroid in Space
Asteroid in Space | Source

In 1997 scientists supposed that there is another asteroid belt behind Pluto's orbit. This belt explains the formation of the twin planet Pluto-Charon. According to one theory, Neptune could cleanse with its gravitation the inner part of this asteroid belt.

According to another theory, the place of the present asteroid belt between orbits of Jupiter and Mars used to belong to the planet Phaeton. Because of Jupiter's tidal force or because of a collision with some other celestial body this planet could burst into pieces that we now call asteroids.

 South Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA, US: Asteroid!
South Beacon Hill, Seattle, WA, US: Asteroid! | Source

When Asteroids and Planets Meet

From time to time asteroids hit big planets. Supposedly, once our planet Earth was hit by a huge asteroid that changed the climate on the planet dramatically. As the result of this collision, all dinosaurs perished, and the so called Ice Age began.

A crater that witnesses this collision was found on Earth.

Asteroids are actually dangerous for humankind as many of them are not detectable at all. Big asteroids can cause calamities. Luckily for us, only small meteorites come close to Earth most of the time, and most of them burn out in the atmosphere.

Asteroid Crater
Asteroid Crater | Source

More by this Author

  • Mudras and Mantras of Happiness and Love
    51

    Have you heard of the book by Sabrina Mesko, a former ballet dancer, Broadway artist and a model who turned to yoga to cure a back injury? In her book “Healing Mudras” she describes hand yoga - mudras - that...

  • The role of a woman during the Age of Aquarius
    7

    The age of Aquarius that has begun recently, awakens new cosmic vibrations that demand from us people living on the Earth some new qualities that tune with the new time. The Aquarius male is the symbol of the new age....

  • Feng Shui Animal Symbols of Good Luck
    106

    According to the Chinese tradition of Feng Shui, there are certain animals that bring good luck, prosperity, wealth and any kind of good fortune. Keeping the symbols of these animals, their pictures or the animals...


Comments 3 comments

dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 3 years ago from India

Great article, good work. Thanks for sharing.


avorodisa profile image

avorodisa 3 years ago from Russia Author

Thank you, dilipchandra12!


radhapriestess 3 years ago

Thanks for interesting article on the asteriods. I know of them from astrology. Did not know about Pluto's connection with them.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working