asteroid Ida
asteroid Ida - as seen by Galileo on its way to Jupiter
on August 28, 1993. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL)

What are asteroids ? Asteroids are chunks of rock and metal.

The solar system has thousands of asteroids that are
in orbit around the Sun but are too small to be planets.
Most of these asteroids are found in the asteroid belt
between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Some have orbits that cross Earth's path and have hit Earth.

Asteroids are material left over from the formation of the solar system.
Much of what we know about asteroids comes from pieces
that fall to the surface of Earth.


Galileo image of Gaspra
(29 October 1991) courtesy of NASA/JPL


web page by J.Giannetta