March 23, 2023

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Which is the smallest known asteroid? .. and which is bigger?


Thursday, 09 March 2023 01:00 AM

Asteroids continue to orbit our solar system, sometimes colliding with planets, including Earth, he said RT.

In this way, in the name of Planetary protectionNASA conducted an experiment called DARTTo deflect a space rock like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

However, not all asteroids are planet killers. While some are large in size, others are very small. So, what are the largest and smallest recorded asteroids in the solar system?.

In short, the largest asteroid The Solar System It’s Ceres(ceres), which is about 590 miles (950 kilometers) across. A very small asteroid is difficult to identify; The smallest asteroid officially recognized by NASA is called Asteroid 2015 TC25It is 6 feet (2 meters) wide. Some definitions say that asteroids must be at least 3 feet (1 meter) across, but not all scientists agree on this specific size..

The term “meteoride” was coined by the German astronomer William Herschel in 1802. But it turns out that the word – which means “star-like” in Greek – is a misnomer. Instead of glowing balls of plasma, asteroids are small, rocky bodies that carry dust, ice, and sometimes metals..

“It clearly has nothing to do with stars, so it’s a vague term and needs to be defined to begin with,” said Simon Marchi, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.“.

Asteroids are believed to have formed in the early days of the Solar System when the Sun was surrounded by a dense cloud of dust. As this dust cooled over tens of thousands of years, it began to aggregate into larger and larger clumps, which gained mass as they stuck together. Eventually, some of these objects gained enough mass to become planets. But Marchi said some of the remains were “like fragments”. Some of these “crumbs” became asteroids.

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Today, most asteroids in the Solar System are found in the asteroid belt, a 140 million mile (225 million km) wide halo of rock and dust orbiting in space between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists have recorded nearly a million of these objects so far. Probably millions more, depending on how you count.

The largest known asteroid, Ceres is easy to spot with a telescope. In 1801, it became the first known object in the asteroid belt, according to NASA. In 2006, the giant space rock – which is more spherical than other asteroids and has a thinner atmosphere – was classified as a dwarf planet, the same name given to Pluto. (But Pluto, at 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) in diameter, is 14 times larger and larger than Ceres, according to NASA.).

Based on its size and structure, scientists think Ceres can tell us a lot about how planets formed. And if you exclude Ceres based on its dwarf planet status, the largest asteroid is Vesta, which is 326 miles (525 km) in diameter..

Meanwhile, the smallest asteroid is the subject of some controversy. “There’s no official cut-off, so different people have different ideas about what counts as an asteroid,” said Yann Fernandez, an astronomer at the University of Central Florida.“.

Telescopes have found asteroids up to 3 feet in diameter, and tons of smaller objects orbiting in the asteroid belt. However, smaller objects typically burn up once they enter the dense atmosphere of an Earth-like planet, according to NASA..

By this size, they can be classified as meteorites, small pieces of space debris.

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And to make matters even more confusing, asteroids are not always the same size. “There are many ways meteorites lose their material,” Fernandez said. Some crack due to thermal stress as they pass closer to the Sun. Others crash into each other, breaking off chunks of rock in the process.