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Asteroids and Comets

  • Date Submitted: 02/21/2013 10:59 PM
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Asteroids and Comets

Asteroids are one of many different cosmological bodies in both our solar system and throughout the universe.   They were formed close enough to a Sun or star to where ice and other elements evaporated.   Asteroids can range in size from a few feet in diameter to miles across, on the verge of being classified as dwarf planets.   Asteroids can be classified by their spectrum using spectroscopy.   A few examples of different classification include C, M, and S.   Asteroids are placed into these categories subject to whether they are “carbon rich”, “metallic”, or have a “stoney” composition.
Asteroids exteriors are usually irregular, scarred with craters and fractures from impacts or collisions telling a story of there life in space.   Asteroids, in general, are extremely black.   Since they exist close or relatively close to a heat source, they are exteriorly void from any sort of water and most elements have been heated into carbon rich substances, such as soot; carbon molecules are very black in color.
Well known near earth asteroids include Ceres, Vesta, Eros, and Gaspra.   Ceres is the largest object in our asteroid belt.   In 1801, it was actually the first asteroid found.   In 2005, however, it was added to the list of dwarf planets.   Vesta has one of the most unique terrains of an asteroid.   Its formation is speculated to have involved collisions with radioactive debris and meteorites and the flow of lava that may have once existed at it core.   Gaspra is riddled with impacts from smaller asteroids in the belt.   It is believed to be hundreds of millions years old.   Eros is an oddly shaped asteroid in our belt (almost bone shaped).   An interesting fact about asteroids as large as these is that they can actually have “moon”.   These consist of smaller meteors in the asteroid belt.   This happens because of the vast distances between some asteroids in the belt, which causes meteorites to start an orbit around a large asteroid.
Asteroids can be...


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