Asteroid Belt: A Planet That Never Formed

What is the asteroid belt?

Who discovered the asteroid belt?

How did the asteroid belt form?

What makes up the asteroid belt?

What spacecraft visited the asteroid belt?

  • The first spacecraft to reach the asteroid belt was Pioneer 10; on its mission to Jupiter, it flew through the belt in 1972.
  • The Galileo spacecraft studied the asteroids Gaspra and Ida in 1989 and discovered the first moon around an asteroid — Ida’s moon Dactyl.
  • The Dawn space probe became the first to visit the asteroids Vesta (in 2011) and Ceres (in 2015).
  • The Psyche spacecraft, scheduled to launch in 2023, will visit asteroid 16 Psyche. Scientists believe this asteroid could be the iron core of a protoplanet the size of Mars.

Can you see the asteroid belt?

  • Vesta (mag 6.1): August 22, 2022
  • Pallas (mag 7.7): January 15, 2023
  • Ceres (mag 7.1): March 21, 2023
  • Hygiea (mag 9.7): August 10, 2023

F.A.Q.

How far is the asteroid belt from the Earth?

How many asteroids are there in the asteroid belt?

What is the largest object in the asteroid belt?

Why didn’t a planet form where the asteroid belt is now located?

What are the two red objects found in the asteroid belt?

Can the asteroid belt be mined?

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