JAN 10, 2016 01:45 PM PST

Was There Once a Planet Where the Asteroid Belt is Today?


Between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system, there is a massive ring of asteroids that orbit the Sun. These make up what is known as the asteroid belt, and they vary in size, from really small rocks just inches in diameter, to the largest known asteroid, Ceres, which is over 600 miles across.

But how did they all get there, and why are they all in one place? There are some theories suggesting that the asteroid belt's contents once made up a planet, and that some kind of destruction of that planet from a sudden impact may have destroyed it, causing it to crumble into a million pieces.

But how likely is that? - Considering what we know about our solar system, maybe not so much, but it's definitely worth a thought. On the other hand, the planets closest to the Sun are solid, while the planets furthest from the Sun are gas, and that asteroid belt separates those two distinct types of planets.

So it's possible that gravity could have played a role here, and that there was just too much interference for all of the little rocks to combine into a full-sized planet over time.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
What do a Wing Nut and a Tennis Racket Have in Common?
In 1985 during a mission to rescue the space station Salyut-7, Soviet astronaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov observed something rather strange. A free-flowing wing...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
How Astronomers Determine the Universe's Age
The universe is so old and so large that the Earth is but an insignificant speck of dust by comparison. Astronomers are always trying to make sense of the...
NOV 14, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 14, 2019
Is the Milky Way Too "Gassy"?
Astrophysicists have long thought that our home galaxy the Milky Way has been constantly losing mass due to the escape of hydrogen gas. However, by observi...
NOV 14, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 14, 2019
Protein Build-Up Places Heart at Risk
Amyloidosis is a disease caused by protein buildup in the body. These abnormal proteins, called amyloids, are produced in the bone marrow. Multiple types o...
NOV 14, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 14, 2019
ESA's Solar Orbiter is Nearly Ready to Launch
Move over Parker Solar Probe, there’s a new Sun-orbiting spacecraft in town. The European Space Agency has completed the assembly of the Solar Orbite...
Loading Comments...