704 Interamnia is a large F-type asteroid, with an estimated diameter of 350 kilometres. Its mean distance from the Sun is 3.067. It was discovered on 2 October 1910 by Vincenzo Cerulli, named after the Latin name for Teramo, where Cerulli worked, it is the fifth-most-massive asteroid after Ceres, Vesta and Hygiea, with a mass estimated to be 1.2% of the mass of the entire asteroid belt. Although Interamnia is the largest asteroid after the "big four", it is a little-studied body, it is the largest of the F-type asteroids, but there exist few details of its internal composition or shape, no light curve analysis has yet been done to determine the ecliptic coordinates of Interamnia's poles. Its high bulk density suggests an solid body without internal porosity or traces of water; this strongly suggests that Interamnia is large enough to have withstood all the collisions that have occurred in the asteroid belt since the Solar System was formed. Its dark surface and large distance from the Sun means Interamnia can never be seen with 10x50 binoculars.
At most oppositions its magnitude is around +11.0, less than the minimum brightness of Vesta, Ceres or Pallas. At a perihelic opposition its magnitude is only +9.9, over four magnitudes lower than Vesta. Its orbit is more eccentric than that of Hygiea but differs from Hygiea's in its much greater inclination and shorter period. Another difference is that Interamnia's perihelion is located on the opposite side from the perihelia of the "big four", so that Interamnia at perihelion is closer to the Sun than Ceres and Pallas are at the same longitude, it is unlikely to collide with Pallas because their nodes are located too far apart, whilst although its nodes are located on the opposite side from those of Ceres, it is clear of Ceres when both cross the same orbital plane and a collision is again unlikely. IRAS measurements in 1983 estimated the asteroid to be 317 ± 5 km in diameter. An occultation in 1996 produced a diameter of 329 km. Observations of a favorable occultation of a bright 6.6 magnitude star on March 23, 2003, produced thirty-five chords indicating an ellipsoid of 350×304 km, thus giving the asteroid a geometric mean diameter of 326 km.
In 2001, Michalak estimated Interamnia to have a mass of 6.9×1019 kg. Michalak's estimate depends on the masses of 19 Fortuna, 29 Amphitrite, 16 Psyche. In 2007, Baer and Chesley estimated Interamnia to have a mass of ×1019 kg; as of 2010, Baer suggests. This makes it more massive than 511 Davida. Goffin's 2014 astrometric reanalysis gives an lower mass of 2.725 ± 0.12×1019 kg. List of Solar System objects by size Animation of Asteroid Interamnia taken on April 1 & 2, 2003 Interamnia Occultations Observed before 2003 Occultation of GSC 23450183 by 704 Interamnia on 17 December 1996 Occultation of HIP36189 by 704 Interamnia on 23 March 2003 704 Interamnia at the JPL Small-Body Database Close approach · Discovery · Ephemeris · Orbit diagram · Orbital elements · Physical parameters
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war, is referred to as the "Red Planet" because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance, distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys and polar ice caps of Earth; the days and seasons are comparable to those of Earth, because the rotational period as well as the tilt of the rotational axis relative to the ecliptic plane are similar. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and second-highest known mountain in the Solar System, of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System; the smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two moons and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.
These may be captured asteroids, similar to a Mars trojan. There are ongoing investigations assessing the past habitability potential of Mars, as well as the possibility of extant life. Future astrobiology missions are planned, including the Mars 2020 and ExoMars rovers. Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressure, less than 1% of the Earth's, except at the lowest elevations for short periods; the two polar ice caps appear to be made of water. The volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be sufficient to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters. In November 2016, NASA reported finding a large amount of underground ice in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars; the volume of water detected has been estimated to be equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Superior. Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye, as can its reddish coloring, its apparent magnitude reaches −2.94, surpassed only by Jupiter, the Moon, the Sun.
Optical ground-based telescopes are limited to resolving features about 300 kilometers across when Earth and Mars are closest because of Earth's atmosphere. Mars is half the diameter of Earth with a surface area only less than the total area of Earth's dry land. Mars is less dense than Earth, having about 15% of Earth's volume and 11% of Earth's mass, resulting in about 38% of Earth's surface gravity; the red-orange appearance of the Martian surface is caused by rust. It can look like butterscotch. Like Earth, Mars has differentiated into a dense metallic core overlaid by less dense materials. Current models of its interior imply a core with a radius of about 1,794 ± 65 kilometers, consisting of iron and nickel with about 16–17% sulfur; this iron sulfide core is thought to be twice as rich in lighter elements as Earth's. The core is surrounded by a silicate mantle that formed many of the tectonic and volcanic features on the planet, but it appears to be dormant. Besides silicon and oxygen, the most abundant elements in the Martian crust are iron, aluminum and potassium.
The average thickness of the planet's crust is about 50 km, with a maximum thickness of 125 km. Earth's crust averages 40 km. Mars is a terrestrial planet that consists of minerals containing silicon and oxygen and other elements that make up rock; the surface of Mars is composed of tholeiitic basalt, although parts are more silica-rich than typical basalt and may be similar to andesitic rocks on Earth or silica glass. Regions of low albedo suggest concentrations of plagioclase feldspar, with northern low albedo regions displaying higher than normal concentrations of sheet silicates and high-silicon glass. Parts of the southern highlands include detectable amounts of high-calcium pyroxenes. Localized concentrations of hematite and olivine have been found. Much of the surface is covered by finely grained iron oxide dust. Although Mars has no evidence of a structured global magnetic field, observations show that parts of the planet's crust have been magnetized, suggesting that alternating polarity reversals of its dipole field have occurred in the past.
This paleomagnetism of magnetically susceptible minerals is similar to the alternating bands found on Earth's ocean floors. One theory, published in 1999 and re-examined in October 2005, is that these bands suggest plate tectonic activity on Mars four billion years ago, before the planetary dynamo ceased to function and the planet's magnetic field faded, it is thought that, during the Solar System's formation, Mars was created as the result of a stochastic process of run-away accretion of material from the protoplanetary disk that orbited the Sun. Mars has many distinctive chemical features caused by its position in the Solar System. Elements with comparatively low boiling points, such as chlorine and sulphur, are much more common on Mars than Earth. After the formation of the planets, all were subjected to the so-called "Late Heavy Bombardment". About 60% of the surface of Mars shows a record of impacts from that era, whereas much of the remaining surface is underlain by immense impact basins caused by those events.
There is evidence of an enormous impact basin in the northern hemisphere of Mars, spanning 10,600 by 8,500 km, or four times the size of the Moon's South Pole – Aitk
67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is a Jupiter-family comet from the Kuiper belt, with a current orbital period of 6.45 years, a rotation period of 12.4 hours and a maximum velocity of 135,000 km/h. Churyumov–Gerasimenko is 4.3 by 4.1 km at its longest and widest dimensions. It was first observed on photographic plates in 1969 by Soviet astronomers Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko, after whom it is named, it came to perihelion on 13 August 2015. Churyumov–Gerasimenko was the destination of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, launched on 2 March 2004. Rosetta rendezvoused with Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014 and entered orbit on 10 September 2014. Rosetta's lander, landed on the comet's surface on 12 November 2014, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a comet nucleus. On 30 September 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft ended its mission by landing on the comet in its Ma'at region. Churyumov–Gerasimenko was discovered in 1969 by Klim Ivanovich Churyumov of the Kiev University's Astronomical Observatory, who examined a photograph, exposed for comet Comas Solà by Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko on 11 September 1969 at the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute, near Alma-Ata, the then-capital city of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union.
Churyumov found a cometary object near the edge of the plate, but assumed that this was comet Comas Solà. After returning to his home institute in Kiev, Churyumov examined all the photographic plates more closely. On 22 October, about a month after the photograph was taken, he discovered that the object could not be Comas Solà, because it was about 1.8 degrees off the expected position. Further scrutiny produced a faint image of Comas Solà at its expected position on the plate, thus proving the other object to be a different body; the comet consists of two lobes connected by a narrower neck, with the larger lobe measuring about 4.1 km × 3.3 km × 1.8 km and the smaller one about 2.6 km × 2.3 km × 1.8 km. With each orbit the comet loses matter, as dust are evaporated away by the sun, it is estimated that a layer with an average thickness of about 1 ± 0.5 m is lost per orbit. The comet has a mass of 10 billion tonnes; the two-lobe shape of the comet is the result of a gentle, low-velocity collision of two objects, called a contact binary.
The "terraces", layers of the interior of the comet that have been exposed by partial stripping of outer layers during its existence, are oriented in different directions in the two lobes, indicating that two objects fused to form Churyumov–Gerasimenko. There are 26 distinct regions on Churyumov–Gerasimenko, with each named after an Egyptian deity. 19 regions were defined in the northern hemisphere prior to equinox. When the southern hemisphere became illuminated, seven more regions were identified using the same naming convention. Features described as gates, twin prominences on the surface so named for their appearance, have received names by the Rosetta Science Working Team, they are named after deceased members of the Rosetta team. During Rosetta's lifetime, many changes were observed on the comet's surface when the comet was close to perihelion; these changes included evolving patterns of circular shapes in smooth terrains that at some point grew in size by a few meters per day. A fracture in the neck region was observed to grow in size.
A number of collapsing cliffs have been observed. One notable example in December 2015 was captured by Rosetta's NAVCAM as a bright patch of light shining from the comet. Rosetta scientists determined that a large cliff had collapsed, making it the first landslide on a comet known to be associated with an outburst of activity. Like the other comets of the Jupiter family, Churyumov–Gerasimenko originated in the Kuiper belt and was ejected towards the interior of the Solar System, where encounters with Jupiter successively changed its orbit. Up to 1840, the comet's perihelion distance was 4 AU, too far for the Sun to vaporize the nucleus. In 1840 Jupiter changed the orbit to a perihelion distance of 3 AU, encounters further decreased that distance to 2.77 AU. In February 1959, a close encounter with Jupiter moved Churyumov–Gerasimenko's perihelion inward to about 1.29 AU, where it remains today. Before Churyumov–Gerasimenko's perihelion passage in 2009, its rotational period was 12.76 hours. During this perihelion passage, it decreased to 12.4 hours, which happened because of sublimation-induced torque.
As of September 2014, Churyumov–Gerasimenko's nucleus had an apparent magnitude of 20. It came to perihelion on 13 August 2015. From December 2014 until September 2015, it had an elongation less than 45 degrees from the Sun. On 10 February 2015, it went through solar conjunction when it was 5 degrees from the Sun and was 3.3 AU from Earth. It crossed the celestial equator on 5 May 2015 and became easiest to see from the Northern Hemisphere. Right after perihelion when it was in the constellation of Gemini, it only brightened to about apparent magnitude 12, required a telescope to be seen; as of July 2016, the comet had a total magnitude of about 20. Churyumov–Gerasimenko was the destination of the Rosetta mission, launched in 2004, which rendezvoused with it in 2014 and
Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, stars, nebulae and comets. More all phenomena that originate outside Earth's atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject is physical cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole. Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences; the early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Indians, Nubians, Chinese and many ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas, performed methodical observations of the night sky. Astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy, the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now considered to be synonymous with astrophysics. Professional astronomy is split into theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, analyzed using basic principles of physics.
Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results. Astronomy is one of the few sciences in which amateurs still play an active role in the discovery and observation of transient events. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets. Astronomy means "law of the stars". Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, the belief system which claims that human affairs are correlated with the positions of celestial objects. Although the two fields share a common origin, they are now distinct. Both of the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" may be used to refer to the same subject. Based on strict dictionary definitions, "astronomy" refers to "the study of objects and matter outside the Earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties," while "astrophysics" refers to the branch of astronomy dealing with "the behavior, physical properties, dynamic processes of celestial objects and phenomena."
In some cases, as in the introduction of the introductory textbook The Physical Universe by Frank Shu, "astronomy" may be used to describe the qualitative study of the subject, whereas "astrophysics" is used to describe the physics-oriented version of the subject. However, since most modern astronomical research deals with subjects related to physics, modern astronomy could be called astrophysics; some fields, such as astrometry, are purely astronomy rather than astrophysics. Various departments in which scientists carry out research on this subject may use "astronomy" and "astrophysics" depending on whether the department is affiliated with a physics department, many professional astronomers have physics rather than astronomy degrees; some titles of the leading scientific journals in this field include The Astronomical Journal, The Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics. In early historic times, astronomy only consisted of the observation and predictions of the motions of objects visible to the naked eye.
In some locations, early cultures assembled massive artifacts that had some astronomical purpose. In addition to their ceremonial uses, these observatories could be employed to determine the seasons, an important factor in knowing when to plant crops and in understanding the length of the year. Before tools such as the telescope were invented, early study of the stars was conducted using the naked eye; as civilizations developed, most notably in Mesopotamia, Persia, China and Central America, astronomical observatories were assembled and ideas on the nature of the Universe began to develop. Most early astronomy consisted of mapping the positions of the stars and planets, a science now referred to as astrometry. From these observations, early ideas about the motions of the planets were formed, the nature of the Sun and the Earth in the Universe were explored philosophically; the Earth was believed to be the center of the Universe with the Sun, the Moon and the stars rotating around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Ptolemaic system, named after Ptolemy.
A important early development was the beginning of mathematical and scientific astronomy, which began among the Babylonians, who laid the foundations for the astronomical traditions that developed in many other civilizations. The Babylonians discovered. Following the Babylonians, significant advances in astronomy were made in ancient Greece and the Hellenistic world. Greek astronomy is characterized from the start by seeking a rational, physical explanation for celestial phenomena. In the 3rd century BC, Aristarchus of Samos estimated the size and distance of the Moon and Sun, he proposed a model of the Solar System where the Earth and planets rotated around the Sun, now called the heliocentric model. In the 2nd century BC, Hipparchus discovered precession, calculated the size and distance of the Moon and inven
International Standard Serial Number
An International Standard Serial Number is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, interlibrary loans, other practices in connection with serial literature; the ISSN system was first drafted as an International Organization for Standardization international standard in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for maintaining the standard; when a serial with the same content is published in more than one media type, a different ISSN is assigned to each media type. For example, many serials are published both in electronic media; the ISSN system refers to these types as electronic ISSN, respectively. Conversely, as defined in ISO 3297:2007, every serial in the ISSN system is assigned a linking ISSN the same as the ISSN assigned to the serial in its first published medium, which links together all ISSNs assigned to the serial in every medium.
The format of the ISSN is an eight digit code, divided by a hyphen into two four-digit numbers. As an integer number, it can be represented by the first seven digits; the last code digit, which may be 0-9 or an X, is a check digit. Formally, the general form of the ISSN code can be expressed as follows: NNNN-NNNC where N is in the set, a digit character, C is in; the ISSN of the journal Hearing Research, for example, is 0378-5955, where the final 5 is the check digit, C=5. To calculate the check digit, the following algorithm may be used: Calculate the sum of the first seven digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right—that is, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, respectively: 0 ⋅ 8 + 3 ⋅ 7 + 7 ⋅ 6 + 8 ⋅ 5 + 5 ⋅ 4 + 9 ⋅ 3 + 5 ⋅ 2 = 0 + 21 + 42 + 40 + 20 + 27 + 10 = 160 The modulus 11 of this sum is calculated. For calculations, an upper case X in the check digit position indicates a check digit of 10. To confirm the check digit, calculate the sum of all eight digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right.
The modulus 11 of the sum must be 0. There is an online ISSN checker. ISSN codes are assigned by a network of ISSN National Centres located at national libraries and coordinated by the ISSN International Centre based in Paris; the International Centre is an intergovernmental organization created in 1974 through an agreement between UNESCO and the French government. The International Centre maintains a database of all ISSNs assigned worldwide, the ISDS Register otherwise known as the ISSN Register. At the end of 2016, the ISSN Register contained records for 1,943,572 items. ISSN and ISBN codes are similar in concept. An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a serial, in addition to the ISSN code for the serial as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a serial title, containing no information as to the publisher or its location. For this reason a new ISSN is assigned to a serial each time it undergoes a major title change. Since the ISSN applies to an entire serial a new identifier, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier, was built on top of it to allow references to specific volumes, articles, or other identifiable components.
Separate ISSNs are needed for serials in different media. Thus, the print and electronic media versions of a serial need separate ISSNs. A CD-ROM version and a web version of a serial require different ISSNs since two different media are involved. However, the same ISSN can be used for different file formats of the same online serial; this "media-oriented identification" of serials made sense in the 1970s. In the 1990s and onward, with personal computers, better screens, the Web, it makes sense to consider only content, independent of media; this "content-oriented identification" of serials was a repressed demand during a decade, but no ISSN update or initiative occurred. A natural extension for ISSN, the unique-identification of the articles in the serials, was the main demand application. An alternative serials' contents model arrived with the indecs Content Model and its application, the digital object identifier, as ISSN-independent initiative, consolidated in the 2000s. Only in 2007, ISSN-L was defined in the
101955 Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group discovered by the LINEAR Project on 11 September 1999. It is a hazardous object, listed on the Sentry Risk Table with the second-highest cumulative rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale, it has a cumulative 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2199. It is named after the Bennu, the ancient Egyptian mythological bird associated with the Sun and rebirth. 101955 Bennu has a mean diameter of 492 m and has been observed extensively with the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar and the Goldstone Deep Space Network. Bennu is the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission, intended to return samples to Earth in 2023 for further study. On 3 December 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at Bennu after a two-year journey. Before attempting to obtain a sample from the asteroid, it will map out Bennu's surface in detail and orbit the asteroid to calculate its mass. Bennu was discovered on 11 September 1999 during a Near-Earth asteroid survey by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research.
The asteroid was classified a near-Earth asteroid. Bennu approached close to Earth and it was observed extensively by the Arecibo Observatory and the Goldstone Deep Space Network using radar imaging as Bennu approached Earth on 23 September 1999; the name Bennu was selected from more than eight thousand student entries from dozens of countries around the world who entered a "Name That Asteroid!" Contest run by the University of Arizona, The Planetary Society, the LINEAR Project in 2012. Third-grade student Michael Puzio from North Carolina proposed the name in reference to the Egyptian mythological bird Bennu. To Puzio, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft with its extended TAGSAM arm resembled the Egyptian deity, depicted as a heron. Bennu has a spheroidal shape, resembling a spinning top. Bennu's axis of rotation is tilted 176 degrees to its orbit. Bennu has a smooth shape with one prominent 10–20 m boulder on its surface, in the southern hemisphere. There is a well-defined ridge along the equator of Bennu.
The presence of this ridge suggests that fine-grained regolith particles have accumulated in this area because of its low gravity and fast rotation. Observations by the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft has shown; this change in Bennu's rotation is caused by the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack effect, or the YORP effect. Due to the uneven emission of thermal radiation from its surface as Bennu rotates in sunlight, the rotation period of Bennu decreases by about one second every 100 years. Observations of this minor planet by the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2007 gave an effective diameter of 484±10 m, in line with other studies, it has a low visible geometric albedo of 0.046±0.005. The thermal inertia was measured and found to vary by 19% during each rotational period; the data suggest that the regolith grain size is moderate, ranging from several millimeters up to a centimeter, evenly distributed. No emission from a potential dust coma has been detected around Bennu, which puts a limit of 106 g of dust within a radius of 4750 km.
Astrometric observations between 1999 and 2013 have demonstrated that 101955 Bennu is influenced by the Yarkovsky effect, causing the semimajor axis to drift on average by 284±1.5 meters/year. Analysis of the gravitational and thermal effects has given a bulk density of ρ = 1260±70 kg/m3, only denser than water. Therefore, the predicted macroporosity is 40±10%, suggesting the interior has a rubble pile structure; the estimated mass is ×1010 kg. Photometric observations of Bennu in 2005 yielded a synodic rotation period of 4.2905±0.0065 h. It has a B-type classification, a sub-category of carbonaceous asteroids. Polarimetric observations show that Bennu belongs to the rare F subclass of carbonaceous asteroids, associated with cometary features. Measurements over a range of phase angles showed a phase function slope of 0.040 magnitudes per degree, similar to other near-Earth asteroids with low albedo. Preliminary spectroscopic surveys of the asteroid's surface by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, detected the presence of hydrated minerals in the form of clay.
While researchers suspect that Bennu was too small to host water, the hydroxyl groups may have come from water presence in its parent body before Bennu split off. The carbonaceous material that composes Bennu came from the breakup of a much larger parent body—a planetoid or a proto-planet, but like nearly all other matter in the Solar System, the origins of its minerals and atoms are to be found in dying stars such as red giants and supernovae. According to the accretion theory, this material came together 4.5 billion years ago during the formation of the Solar System. Bennu's basic mineralogy and chemical nature would have been established during the first 10 million years of the Solar System's formation, where the carbonaceous material underwent some geologic heating and chemical transformation inside a much larger planetoid or a proto-planet capable of producing the requisite pressure, heat and of course the hydration —into more complex minerals. Bennu began in the inner asteroid belt as a fragment from a larger body with a diameter of 100 km.
Simulations suggest a 70% chance it came from the Polana family and a 30% chance it derived from the Eulalia family. Subsequently, the orbit drifted as a result of the Yarkovsky effect and mean motion resonances with the giant planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. Various interactions with the planets in combinati
The asteroid belt is the circumstellar disc in the Solar System located between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called minor planets; the asteroid belt is termed the main asteroid belt or main belt to distinguish it from other asteroid populations in the Solar System such as near-Earth asteroids and trojan asteroids. About half the mass of the belt is contained in the four largest asteroids: Ceres, Vesta and Hygiea; the total mass of the asteroid belt is 4% that of the Moon, or 22% that of Pluto, twice that of Pluto's moon Charon. Ceres, the asteroid belt's only dwarf planet, is about 950 km in diameter, whereas 4 Vesta, 2 Pallas, 10 Hygiea have mean diameters of less than 600 km; the remaining bodies range down to the size of a dust particle. The asteroid material is so thinly distributed that numerous unmanned spacecraft have traversed it without incident. Nonetheless, collisions between large asteroids do occur, these can produce an asteroid family whose members have similar orbital characteristics and compositions.
Individual asteroids within the asteroid belt are categorized by their spectra, with most falling into three basic groups: carbonaceous and metal-rich. The asteroid belt formed from the primordial solar nebula as a group of planetesimals. Planetesimals are the smaller precursors of the protoplanets. Between Mars and Jupiter, gravitational perturbations from Jupiter imbued the protoplanets with too much orbital energy for them to accrete into a planet. Collisions became too violent, instead of fusing together, the planetesimals and most of the protoplanets shattered; as a result, 99.9% of the asteroid belt's original mass was lost in the first 100 million years of the Solar System's history. Some fragments found their way into the inner Solar System, leading to meteorite impacts with the inner planets. Asteroid orbits continue to be appreciably perturbed whenever their period of revolution about the Sun forms an orbital resonance with Jupiter. At these orbital distances, a Kirkwood gap occurs. Classes of small Solar System bodies in other regions are the near-Earth objects, the centaurs, the Kuiper belt objects, the scattered disc objects, the sednoids, the Oort cloud objects.
On 22 January 2014, ESA scientists reported the detection, for the first definitive time, of water vapor on Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The detection was made by using the far-infrared abilities of the Herschel Space Observatory; the finding was unexpected because comets, not asteroids, are considered to "sprout jets and plumes". According to one of the scientists, "The lines are becoming more and more blurred between comets and asteroids." In 1596, Johannes Kepler predicted “Between Mars and Jupiter, I place a planet” in his Mysterium Cosmographicum. While analyzing Tycho Brahe's data, Kepler thought that there was too large a gap between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. In an anonymous footnote to his 1766 translation of Charles Bonnet's Contemplation de la Nature, the astronomer Johann Daniel Titius of Wittenberg noted an apparent pattern in the layout of the planets. If one began a numerical sequence at 0 included 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, etc. doubling each time, added four to each number and divided by 10, this produced a remarkably close approximation to the radii of the orbits of the known planets as measured in astronomical units provided one allowed for a "missing planet" between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
In his footnote, Titius declared "But should the Lord Architect have left that space empty? Not at all."When William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, the planet's orbit matched the law perfectly, leading astronomers to conclude that there had to be a planet between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. On January 1, 1801, Giuseppe Piazzi, chair of astronomy at the University of Palermo, found a tiny moving object in an orbit with the radius predicted by this pattern, he dubbed it "Ceres", after the Roman goddess of the patron of Sicily. Piazzi believed it to be a comet, but its lack of a coma suggested it was a planet. Thus, the aforementioned pattern, now known as the Titius–Bode law, predicted the semi-major axes of all eight planets of the time. Fifteen months Heinrich Olbers discovered a second object in the same region, Pallas. Unlike the other known planets and Pallas remained points of light under the highest telescope magnifications instead of resolving into discs. Apart from their rapid movement, they appeared indistinguishable from stars.
Accordingly, in 1802, William Herschel suggested they be placed into a separate category, named "asteroids", after the Greek asteroeides, meaning "star-like". Upon completing a series of observations of Ceres and Pallas, he concluded, Neither the appellation of planets nor that of comets, can with any propriety of language be given to these two stars... They resemble small stars so much. From this, their asteroidal appearance, if I take my name, call them Asteroids. By 1807, further investigation revealed two new objects in the region: Vesta; the burning of Lilienthal in the Napoleonic wars, where the main body of work had been done, brought this first period of discovery to a close. Despite Herschel's coinage, for several decades it remained common practice to refer to these objects as planets and to prefix t