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The Asteroid Belt
It’s shaped like a doughnut, made from lumps of rock, and looks like a pattern of floating rocks moving in a circle. This strange sounding object is the Asteroid Belt. The Asteroid Belt was formed from lumps of rock left over after other planets formed. Yes, it is shaped like a doughnut and can be found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The Asteroid Belt has two layers. The inner layer has asteroids made of metals. The outer layer has rocky asteroids.
When you look at the Asteroid Belt it looks like floating rocks moving in a circle. Scientist say there are millions of asteroids in this belt. It may sound pretty funny, but scientists say that there is still a lot of empty space.
As you have probably already guessed, the Asteroid Belt is pretty big. It is actually 215 million miles wide. We have Jupiter to think for keeping the asteroids inside the belt from hitting the planets in space. Jupiter’s gravity is able to hold the asteroids in place.
The chunks of rock in the belt were named asteroid, meaning star and rock. The first asteroids seen in the belt were named after gods and heroes. The first and largest asteroid found was named Ceres after a Roman goddess. Ceres was discovered on January 1, 1801. It is the size of Texas and is now being called a dwarf planet.
Before an asteroid is named, a group of people check to make sure it is not an inappropriate name. Now that most Roman hero names have been used up, scientists are using the name of the person who discovered it when naming asteroids.
A lot of information remains unknown about the Asteroid Belt, but it certainly is real.
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