Space Rocks

An Introduction to Space Rocks

As human beings, until the invention of the other¬†telescope by Galileo in the 17th century, we weren’t aware of space elements than the planets. However, after the invention of the telescope, scientists and astronomers started observing floating objects in space, some of which were also responsible for forming the rings of Saturn. These floating objects were called Space rocks. Asteroids, meteorites, comets, and meteors are briefly classified into an umbrella called space rocks.

Asteroids

The solar system is a rocky road filled with space rocks, small metal bodies, ice, and others constantly orbiting around the sun. Although for an average human, they sound like any other object, astronomers believe studying them can reveal the future of Earth and our origin.

Asteroids

As kids, when we drew the structure of our solar system, we were often told to include rocky structures orbiting around the sun. These are called asteroids, which are rocky and airless. It is believed that these were the leftovers from the solar system’s formation. They have diverse compositions, ranging from metallic to carbon. Some of them are also made of rubber piles held together by gravity.

Between Mars and Jupiter are billions of asteroids in the solar system, mainly residing in the asteroid belt. Some telescopes are designed to determine their movement and if they pose a threat to Earth.

Comets

Comets are also celestial objects that revolve around the sun but are made of snowball-like structures. They have an icy nucleus with frozen gases and rocks, and dust. When the comet’s orbit is closer to the sun, they form against balls of burning gas, with their tails facing away from the sun, and can stretch over millions of miles.

Meteoroids and meteors

These are the smallest of all the space rocks formed due to collision among moons, planets, comets, asteroids, and other particles. They are also visible from the Earth as meteor showers.

When such meteoroids fall through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredible speeds, they are called meteorites. This is because they have extensive pressure and heat, which can push through the Earth’s gravity. Unfortunately, this also causes them to emit bright light into the atmosphere. On Earth, we call them shooting stars; most burn before reaching the ground. According to scientists, about 45.5 tons of meteoric materials fall on the surface of the Earth every day.

Dwarf planets

These planets are not smaller in size, but they are the size of planets that are round or nearly round. Therefore, they lack the gravitational force to clear their path and orbit the sun. Such planets are found in the Kuiper Belt after Neptune. Pluto is the most famous example of a dwarf planet.

Kuiper Belt Objects

It is a disc-shaped space beyond Neptune and extends for 30 to 55 astronomical units. It is believed that this region comprises trillion times more comets, icy bodies, and other objects when compared to our solar system. They are time capsules that are pristine in their realm.

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