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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Therefore a carbonaceous asteroid, although unlikely, can not be ruled out as an explanation of the Tunguska event.
▪ These appear to be pieces of carbonaceous asteroids.
▪ Comets and carbonaceous asteroids of the appropriate energy disrupt too high, whereas typical iron objects reach and crater the terrestrial surface.
▪ Phobos and Deimos are small, irregularly shaped bodies, generally similar to carbonaceous asteroids in color, reflectivity, and density.
▪ The solid residue left after baking the volatiles out of carbonaceous asteroid materials is of considerable interest in its own right.
▪ Two large asteroids have passed alarmingly close to Earth in the past few years.
▪ The first and largest asteroid discovered, Ceres, was found on the night of January 1, 1801.
▪ The new data shows that many stars are rich in iron, having gobbled up large numbers of asteroids and comets.
▪ Within the main belt are several distinct orbital families of large asteroids, each family named for its most prominent member.
▪ Such ease of access means that very large masses of asteroid materials can be returned to the vicinity of Earth.
▪ Almost 1,000 small asteroids crossing our orbit are now known, 300 of them found last year alone.
▪ But we have so far concentrated exclusively on the small minority of asteroids that have orbits bringing them close to Earth.
▪ These results affect assessments of the hazard posed by impacts of small comets and asteroids.
▪ In 1976 a small asteroid, 2062 Aten, was discovered in an orbit that actually circles the Sun faster than Earth.
▪ Even if the comets had strengths comparable to that of stony asteroids, they still could not fit the Tunguska observations.
▪ Similarly, granting a carbonaceous object the strength of a stony asteroid would allow it to penetrate to comparable altitudes.
▪ Figure 2 shows the effect of impact angle on the explosion of stony asteroids.
▪ Values of much less than 30° seem to be inconsistent with an explanation of the Tunguska object as a stony asteroid.
▪ FIG. 2 Airburst altitudes for four 15-Mton stony asteroids with different incidence angles.
▪ Almost all of the moving objects seen are slow-moving belt asteroids, out between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
▪ Spacewatch has been discovering as many as 20, 000 new belt asteroids per year.
▪ Spacewatch discovers hundreds of new kilometer-sized belt asteroids with every observing run.
▪ The wealth of materials available in the belt asteroids, revealed by the study of meteorites, staggers the imagination.
▪ The effects of comet and asteroid impacts are potentially damaging to life in general, and to human civilization in particular.
▪ Thus the four terrestrial planets are all affected in important but very different ways by comet and asteroid impacts.
▪ Much water has been lost for ever from Mars, blasted into space by comet and asteroid impacts.
▪ Clearly, the iron-nickel metal on the surface of the Moon is contributed by asteroid impacts.
▪ Say we find three S asteroids of that brightness for every C type.
▪ Generally, it is very difficult to find asteroids smaller than about 1 kilometer in diameter using photographic techniques.
▪ It is clearly important to find out what asteroids are made of.
▪ It has also found two Centaur family asteroids in orbits that cross the orbits of several of the Jovian planets.
▪ Astronomers had accidentally caught a comet in the act of turning into an asteroid.
▪ Comets and asteroids are subjects for Chapter 14.
▪ Extraction of helium-3 from the surfaces of asteroids is not likely to compare with that from the Moon.
▪ Finally, the total exposed surface area of the asteroids is less than the surface area of the Moon.
▪ For example, Vesta, the fourth-largest asteroid, reflects light in a unique way: some 50 meteorites match it closely.
▪ These asteroids with Earth-crossing orbits and orbital periods greater than one Earth year constitute the Apollo family.
▪ Two large asteroids have passed alarmingly close to Earth in the past few years.
▪ We do it now on a small scale to bring the rocks into Earth orbit from the asteroid belt.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Asteroid \As"ter*oid\, n. [Gr. ? starlike, starry; 'asth`r star + e'i^dos form: cf. F. ast['e]ro["i]de. See Aster.] A starlike body; esp. one of the numerous small planets whose orbits lie between those of Mars and Jupiter; -- called also planetoids and minor planets.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1802, coined probably by German-born English astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) from Greek asteroeides "star-like," from aster "star" (see astro-) + -eidos "form, shape" (see -oid).


n. 1 (context astronomy English) A naturally occurring solid object, which is smaller than a planet and is not a comet, that orbits a star 2 (context astronomy English) In the Solar system, such a body that orbits within the orbit of Jupiter


adj. shaped like a star [syn: star-shaped]


n. any of numerous small celestial bodies composed of rock and metal that move around the sun (mainly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter) [syn: minor planet, planetoid]


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. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered and found to have volatile-based surfaces that resemble those of comets, they were often distinguished from asteroids of the asteroid belt. In this article, the term "asteroid" refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System including those co-orbital with Jupiter.

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, M-type, and S-type. These were named after and are generally identified with carbon-rich, metallic, and silicate (stony) compositions, respectively. The size of asteroids varies greatly, some reaching as much as across.

Asteroids are differentiated from comets and meteoroids. In the case of comets, the difference is one of composition: while asteroids are mainly composed of mineral and rock, comets are composed of dust and ice. In addition, asteroids formed closer to the sun, preventing the development of the aforementioned cometary ice. The difference between asteroids and meteoroids is mainly one of size: meteoroids have a diameter of less than one meter, whereas asteroids have a diameter of greater than one meter. Finally, meteoroids can be composed of either cometary or asteroidal materials.

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 March 2016, the Minor Planet Center had data on more than 1.3 million objects in the inner and outer Solar System, of which 750,000 had enough information to be given numbered designations.

Asteroid (film)

Asteroid is a 1997 NBC TV miniseries about the United States government trying to prevent an asteroid from colliding with the Earth.

Asteroid (disambiguation)

An asteroid is an astronomical object. Specific variants include the following:

  • Amor asteroid
  • Apollo asteroid
  • Apohele asteroid
  • Arjuna asteroid
  • Aten asteroid
  • Binary asteroid
  • Maria asteroid
  • Near Earth asteroid, or Near Earth object, a family of asteroids and a few other objects that pass especially close to the Earth
  • Trojan asteroid

Asteroid or Asteroids may also refer to:

Asteroid (horse)

Asteroid was one of the most successful Thoroughbred racehorses in the United States during the 19th century having retired to stud with an undefeated race record.

Usage examples of "asteroid".

She was trapped without a ship or a radio aboard an asteroid that was accelerating smoothly to absurdly high velocities by means she could not understand.

I turned to the dome again, to study that fearful funnel swelling at the heart of the anomaly, the captured asteroid burning brighter now and nearer the center.

The largest asteroid in this sector had deposits of armalcolite ore they needed to fix the Oltion circuits in the warp processor.

Russian spaceflight pioneer Konstantin Tsiolkovsky argued a century ago that there must be bodies intermediate ill size between the observed large asteroids and those asteroidal fragments, the meteorites, that occasionally fall to Earth.

The old Klingon watched with growing alarm as the huge oblong rock rose above the other asteroids in the Boneyard, giving it a clear line of sight in almost every direction.

The grey creature was over their dome, larger than 165 Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch the asteroid, longer than anything Brug had ever seen before.

The fifth system, Asmodeus, centered by a pleasant little K-type orange dwarf not unlike Epsilon Eridani, sent waves of in-system torchships to the defense of its populated asteroid belt.

So many took part in these singular experiments, which assumed rather the appearance of outdoor sports than of scientific demonstrations, that in a short time we had provided the asteroid with a very large number of little moons, or satellites, of gold, which revolved around it in orbits of various degrees of ellipticity, taking, on the average, about three-quarters of an hour to complete a circuit.

We have imprisoned the Esen Monster and her Human slave within the asteroid dome, awaiting your arrival.

Base Station, established in stationary orbit approximately sixty million kilometers from the target asteroid, this being about ten million kilometers beyond the minimum known safety range from Guara surface weapons.

All commentary is as recorded via relay at the Base Station, established in stationary orbit approximately sixty million kilometers from the target asteroid, this being about ten million kilometers beyond the minimum known safety range from Guara surface weapons.

Then, even before the Hegira, you moved your bubble memories and servers and core storage nexus to a cluster of asteroids in long orbit around the sun, far from the Old Earth you planned to destroy .

He, Judi, Cyan, and Liz took a shuttle out to the launch site, a point, high over the asteroid belt, where the impactor coasted, waiting for the main beam.

What if we send our impactor into that asteroid against legitimate orders?

The jihadi soldiers yelled in confusion and disbelief as the asteroid abruptly changed course and smashed through the robot ships again.