Real Life Asteroid Impact | 360°

An asteroid is a rocky celestial body, smaller than a planet and larger than a meteoroid. Most orbit between Mars and Jupiter, in the region of the solar system known as the asteroid belt; others accumulate at the points of Lagrange de Jupiter, and most of the rest crosses the orbits of the planets.

The asteroid word comes from the Greek, ἀστεροειδής, and means “of stellar figure”, in reference to the aspect they present when viewed with a telescope. It was coined by William Herschel in 1802, although astronomers called them planets for most of the nineteenth century. Until March 24, 2006, asteroids were also called planetoids or minor planets. However, these terms have fallen into disuse.

For more than two centuries, Ceres was the first asteroid discovered. After the redefinition of the planet of 2006, which reclassified this body as a dwarf planet, it is technically Palas, found in 1802, the first asteroid discovered. In these two centuries the number of known asteroids has not stopped growing, reaching values ​​of several hundred thousand. However, if all its mass were added, the equivalent would only give for a percentage of 5% of the entire mass of the Moon.

Asteroids are classified according to their location, composition or grouping. For the location, the relative position of these bodies with respect to the Sun and the planets is taken as a reference. For the composition the data extracted from the absorption spectra are used. Clusters are based on similar nominal values ​​of the semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination of the orbit. Due to their tiny size and great distance from Earth, almost everything we know about them comes from astrometric and radiometric measurements, light curves and absorption spectra. Gaspra, in 1991, was the first asteroid visited by a space probe, while two years later Ida was the first to confirm the existence of a satellite.

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