An asteroid is one among millions of small solar bodies which revolve around the sun every day. They consist of rocks, metals and they can also contain organic compounds. Asteroids are concentrated mainly in the region known as the asteroid belt which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They can be as very large in diameter or can be just as small as a grain of sand. They are neither big enough to be called planets nor are they as small as comets. The asteroid belt is divided into an inner belt and an outer belt. The inner belt, which is made up of asteroids that are within 250 million miles of the sun, contains asteroids that are made of metals. The outer belt consists of rocky asteroids.
On January 1, 1801, Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the first asteroid which he thought at first was a comet. He named this asteroid Ceres, after the Sicilian Goddess of grain. It is now, since 2006 considered a dwarf planet, along with Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. Soon, other large asteroids like Pallas, Juno and Vista were discovered. By the end of the 19th century, several hundred asteroids have been discovered....
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