Find a Meteorite: More About Asteroids

Asteroids are small bodies that orbit the Sun, and are categorized by where they are located. Most asteroids are located between Mars and Jupiter in what is called the asteroid belt. Another class of asteroids orbits the Sun just ahead or just behind Jupiter. The names of both of these classes of asteroids are prefaced with a number that reflects the order of discovery, such as 1 Ceres, which was the first asteroid discovered by scientists. Small objects orbiting the Sun beyond Jupiter are usually referred to by other names, because they are assumed to contain ices and are more closely related to comets. The orbits and locations of small bodies in the Solar System are the responsibility of the Minor Planet Center, which has interesting information and plots of asteroid locations.

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