June 10, 2012
Asteroids (from Greek ἀστεροειδής - asteroeidēs, "star-like", from ἀστήρ "star" and εἶδος "like, in form") are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets. A large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter or co-orbital with Jupiter (the Jupiter Trojans). However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth asteroids.