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asteroids - Newest pictures


This picture of Eros, the first of an asteroid taken from an orbiting spacecraft, is a mosaic of fou

Asteroids are rocky, airless worlds that orbit our sun, but are too small to be called planets. Tens of thousands of these "minor planets" are gathered in the main asteroid belt, a vast doughnut-shaped ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids that pass close to Earth are called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).
Featured Mission : Dawn
NASA's Dawn mission is on a 3-billion-km (1.7-billion-mile) journey to the asteroid belt to orbit asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Scientists hope to characterize the conditions of the solar system's earliest days by studying these two very different worlds.
Discovered in 1801, Ceres was the first asteroid discovered. It has since been reclassified as a dwarf planet because it is more like a planet that its neighbors in the main asteroid belt.
About once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reachingthe surface.
Asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 km (about 583 miles) across.

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