The asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter
Space
The asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter

Points Of Interest In The Asteroid Belt: Ceres And Vesta

The main asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter. It also marks the end of the inner solar system and the beginning of the outer solar system. The biggest object in the belt is Ceres.
Ceres is a dwarf planet, though it is much smaller than its closest neighboring dwarf planet, Pluto. Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, whose Greek counterpart is Demeter. The Dawn space probe has recently sent us stunning pictures and mountains of data from its 2015 mission to Ceres.
Ceres is heavily cratered, and its most notable feature are its mysterious bright spots. Current data points to these likely being salt deposits, but the mystery still rages.
The next largest resident of the asteroid belt is Vesta. Vesta is not a neatly rounded object like Ceres is, and has a more potato-esque shape. The next largest object is Pallas.
Most images and models of the asteroid belt paint it as a mine field of floating space rocks. This is blatantly not the case, as there are vast distances between the objects in the field. The changes of being hit by a stray asteroid are astronomically small. Don't believe me? Go take a fly around and see for yourself.
From 1801 to 1850, Ceres was considered a major planet. It wasn't until additional objects were observed that Ceres was downgraded and the idea of the asteroid belt was accepted.
Ceres and Vesta compared to Pluto and Charon in size.
Ceres and Vesta compared to Pluto and Charon in size.
Objects in the asteroid belt compared to our moon. Number 1 is Ceres.
Objects in the asteroid belt compared to our moon. Number 1 is Ceres.
“From 1801 to 1850, Ceres was considered a major planet.”
Ceres' mysterious bright spots. Salt? Sugar? Cocaine? Aliens? Who knows.
Ceres' mysterious bright spots. Salt? Sugar? Cocaine? Aliens? Who knows.
Ceres has an interesting surface. All pictures are from the Dawn probe.
Ceres has an interesting surface. All pictures are from the Dawn probe.
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