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Ancient Space Rubble
Asteroids are rocky fragments left over from the formation our the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Most of these chunks of space rubble, sometimes called minor planets, can be found orbiting the Sun in a belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The Asteroid Belt or Main Belt probably contains millions of asteroids.

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Color image of asteroid Ida with its tiny moon Dactyl to the right
Asteroid Ida (left) and its moon Dactyl (right).

Asteroids, ranging in size from boulders to tiny moons, offer a glimpse into what our solar system was like before the planets formed 4.6 billion years ago. They may provide resources - such as minerals of space refueling stations - for future deep space explorers. We also study asteroids to protect Earth from potential impacts.

Here are a few that have been targeted for exploration:

List of Asteroids
Color image of asteroid Ida with its tiny moon Dactyl to the right
Asteroid Ida (left) and its moon Dactyl (right).

Asteroids, ranging in size from boulders to tiny moons, offer a glimpse into what our solar system was like before the planets formed 4.6 billion years ago. They may provide resources - such as minerals of space refueling stations - for future deep space explorers. We also study asteroids to protect Earth from potential impacts.

Here are a few that have been targeted for exploration:

List of Asteroids