Latest in Space

Image credit:

The wreckage of a few ancient planets formed the asteroid belt

A new study finds 85 percent of the asteroid belt came from five or six planetoids.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
July 2, 2018
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Stocktrek

It's exciting to watch Japan's Hayabusa 2 craft close in on its chosen asteroid and start surveying it from up close, but we can still learn things about them from down here. A new study has determined that 85 percent of our solar system's asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is made up of the remnants of five or six ancient small planets.

The study appeared today in the journal Nature Astronomy, and according to its lead author, University of Florida theoretical astronomer Stanley Dermott, the remaining 15 percent could end up being from the same handful of very old planets. The origin of the asteroid belt could tell us more about Earth, but more pressingly, those hunks of rock and mineral occasionally peel off and hurtle toward our own planet.

"These large bodies whiz by the Earth, so of course we're very concerned about how many of these there are and what types of material are in them," Dermott said in a press release. "If ever one of these comes towards the earth, and we want to deflect it, we need to know what its nature is."

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

View
The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

View
Beloved RPG 'The World Ends With You' will get a sequel, 14 years later

Beloved RPG 'The World Ends With You' will get a sequel, 14 years later

View
How to make sense of Logitech's universal remote lineup

How to make sense of Logitech's universal remote lineup

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr