MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asteroid belt. Computer artwork of the main asteroid belt of the solar system (not to scale). The five innermost planets are shown orbiting around the sun (upper right). They are (from inner orbit); Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. The main asteroid belt is between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The existence of a planet between Mars and Jupiter was proposed by a group of six astronomers in 1800, based on Bode's Law of the relationship of planetary orbits. The first of the asteroids (or minor planets) was discovered a year later. Several thousand have had their orbits accurately computed, but the solar system may contain over 40,000 asteroids.
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