Opinions on Asteroid

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For other uses, see Asteroid (disambiguation).

Asteroids are minor planets, especially those of the inner Solar System. The larger ones have also been called planetoids. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disc of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered, they were often distinguished from traditional asteroids. Their volatile-based surfaces were found to resemble comets. They were named centaurs, Neptune trojans, and trans-Neptunian objects, types of minor planets that have properties distinct from those in the asteroid belt. In this article the term "asteroid" refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System.

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. The large majority of known asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, or are co-orbital with Jupiter (the Jupiter Trojans). However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth asteroids. Individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups: C-type, S-type, and M-type. These were named after and are generally identified with carbon-rich, stony, and metallic compositions, respectively.

Only one asteroid, 4 Vesta, which has a relatively reflective surface, is normally visible to the naked eye, and this only in very dark skies when it is favorably positioned. Rarely, small asteroids passing close to Earth may be visible to the naked eye for a short time. As of September 2013, the Minor Planet Center had data on more than one million objects in the inner and outer Solar System, of which 625,000 had enough information to be given numbered designations.

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 is unexpected because comets, not asteroids, are typically 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 the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Asteroid. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Asteroid in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Asteroid has and the evolution of its popularity.

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