The Asteroid Belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, is a region in the solar system where thousands of rocky bodies and asteroids are orbiting. The innermost asteroid belt consists of a relatively small group of rocky bodies orbiting in a 2:3 mean-motion resonance with the gas giant Jupiter. This system forms a projected ellipse through the plane of the ecliptic.
The region named after the largest member of this belt, Ceres, the largest asteroid, which is the largest member of the asteroid belt.
Beyond the asteroid belt is the Kuiper belt with a number of giant space rocks. There are also two irregular regions of the solar system’s Kuiper belt, beyond the belt, and the scattered disc beyond that.
The term asteroid belt is usually applied to objects in the inner belt which lie within a certain distance from the sun, but the term is also used for objects that lie beyond the inner belt but closer to the orbit of Jupiter.
The zone where objects lie in 2:3 resonance with Jupiter lies in the asteroid belt. This area is the inner asteroid belt. The belt has no large satellites. There are a few well-known asteroids in the inner belt such as 243 Ida, but their average size is only about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter.
Overview Of The Asteroid Belt
Some asteroids, notably Ceres, distorts at times. Dwarf planet Ceres is the largest asteroid that lies within the asteroid belt, with an average diameter of (Dwarf planet Vesta, though considerably smaller, was a moon of Ceres until 3 August 2011.)
The largest asteroids lie beyond the orbit of Jupiter and are not considered to be a part of the belt. However, if the asteroid belt were a circle, the largest member would be on the far side of the Sun, beyond the orbit of Saturn.
In terms of its largest part, in average size, the asteroid belt is very much like the Solar System as a whole. Many other objects found and classified as asteroid fragments from the beginning of the field. But, these asteroids have little influence on the history of the asteroid belt. Although, the orbits of the system’s large members poorly known.
The asteroid 4 Vesta thought to be one of the most massive asteroids in this belt until 2005. When another object, Itokawa, found to be more massive.
The larger asteroids are considerably farther from the Sun than either of the two main belt planets, which may be due to a Mars–Earth tidal influence. Due to its very elongated shape.
Suggestions were that Vesta was not a collisional crater. Its orbit perturbed by the impact of another object in the early Solar System. Which then, in turn, nudged into the current orbit.
Origin Of The Asteroid Belt
According to one model of the origin of this belt. This belt and the rest of the outer Solar System formed within a subsolar nebula following the Big Bang.
This theory states that during the age of the Solar System, the Sun was forming. The first gas giants created in the proto-universe attempted to collide with the nascent Sun. These objects subsequently dispersed by the gravitational pull of the nascent planets and their satellites.
Jupiter or its satellites captured some of these asteroids. In the outer Solar System, small ice giants (including Uranus and Neptune) and minor planets came together. Coalesced, and acquired an uneven population of asteroids.
The near-Earth asteroid orbits form what is called an orbital resonance, the period of one orbit of a given asteroid is related to the orbital periods of Earth’s, Mars’s, and Jupiter’s orbits. By a simple ratio of 4:5:3:2. The orbital periods of Earth’s and Mars’s orbits are large compared to asteroids’. So, orbital resonance is common.
The major reason the orbital resonances exist is that they slow down the decay of atmospheric hydrogen. Although all asteroids appear rocky and iron-like bodies. Many asteroids are silicate minerals such as olivine, pyroxenes, clinopyroxenes, etc.
The silicate minerals are also available in some meteorites. Providing for the hypothesis that Earth and the Moon are differentiated and had a different type of molten metal when they formed.
This area also has an abundance of other minor chemical elements. Such as selenium, sulfur, hydrogen, silicon, and Nitrogen.