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253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid measurin aboot 50 kilometre (30 mi) athort, covered in craters hauf that size. Photograph taken in 1997 bi the NEAR Shoemaker probe.

Asteroids is minor planets, especially thaim in the inner Solar Seestem. The lairger anes haes forby been cried planetoids. Thir terms haes historically been applied tae ony astronomical object orbitin the Sun that didnae shaw a planet's disk an wisnae observed tae hae the chairacteristics o an active comet, but as minor planets in the ooter Solar Seestem wis discovered, thair volatile-based surfaces wis foond tae mair closely resemmle comets an sae wis aften distinguished frae tradeetional asteroids.[1] Sae the term asteroid haes come increasingly tae refer specifically tae the smaa bodies o the inner Solar System oot tae Jupiter's orbit. Thay are grouped wi the ooter bodies—centaurs, Neptune trojans, an trans-Neptunian objects—as minor planets, whilk is the term preferred in astronomical circles.[2] In this airticle, the term "asteroid" refers tae the minor planets o the inner Solar Seestem.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "Asteroids". NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  2. Asimov, Isaac, and Dole, Stephen H. Planets for Man (New York: Random House, 1964), p.43.