LIONEL BRET / LOOK AT SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIONEL BRET / LOOK AT SCIENCES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asteroids and planet, artwork. Asteroids are rocky bodies orbiting within a planetary system. They vary in size from tens of metres across to more than a hundred kilometres across. The smaller ones are irregular in shape, and the largest can be near-spherical. Large asteroids impacting a planet can cause mass extinctions of life. In the solar system, they mostly orbit between the planets Mars (top) and Jupiter, forming a region known as the asteroid belt. The largest object in the asteroid belt is the dwarf planet Ceres.
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