What are asteroids? | Live Science


Asteroids are flying space rocks occasionally featured in sci-fi movies and perhaps in our low-level fears of going the way of the dinosaurs. But just what are these potato-shaped chunks of rock, and what are the odds that one could hit Earth sometime in the near future?

“You can think about asteroids as planets that didn’t make it,” Federica Spoto, a research scientist at the Minor Planet Center, an institute that studies small bodies, told Live Science. “They are what’s leftover from the origin of the solar system.”

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