Diagram of the Asteroid Belt

Diagram of the Asteroid Belt

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Schematic illustration showing the layout and position of the asteroid belt. This is a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where most asteroids (small bodies of rock, carbon and iron) orbit the Sun. The innermost edge is at about 2 astronomical units (AU), with orbital periods of around 3 years. The outermost edge is at 3.3 AU, with orbital periods up to about 6 years. The belt is not flat, confined to the ecliptic (the Earth's orbit). Instead it rises out of the ecliptic, being shaped somewhat like a donut.

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Keywords: art, artwork, asteroid belt, asteroids, astronomical, astronomy, belt, diagram, earth, ecliptic, illustration, jupiter, mars, mercury, orbits, region, rocky, schematic, space, sun, venus

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