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Asteroids

Word of the Week collision — the act of colliding; a crash

Newspaper Knowledge Study the periodic chart of the elements and then take a red magic marker and mark the appropriate chemical symbols on articles, ads and anything else that mentions an element.

Did You Know?

Asteroids are small, rocky bodies that have been left over from the formation of the planets 4.5 billion years ago. They are often known as “minor planets.” There are thought to be billions of these chunks of rock. Most of them lie in a doughnut-shaped “main belt“ between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. On the inner edge of this main belt, asteroids take about three years to orbit the sun. Those near the outer limit of the main belt take twice as long. The word “asteroid“ means “starlike,“ They were given this name because they can only be seen as points of light in most telescopes. By the early 20th century, astronomers were calling them the “vermin of the skies.“ They were visible in such large numbers that they were spoiling photographs of distant galaxies and nebulas. The largest of the asteroids, Ceres, was the first to be discovered. It was found by Giuseppi Piazzi from Palermo, Sicily, on Jan. 1, 1801. This was followed by Juno (1804) and A second minor planet – Pallas – Vesta (1807). Since 1847, not a year was found by Wilhelm Olbers in 1802.

Asteroid 243 Ida and its newly discovered moon, Dactyl

• Asteroids are similar to comets but do not have a visible coma (fuzzy outline and tail) like comets do. • Asteroids also are known as planetoids or minor planets.

Words To Know (Famous Asteroids) 433 Eros 1 Ceres

4 Vesta 2060 Chiron 3200 Phaethon 1862 Apollo

has passed without the discovery of at least one asteroid.

Asteroid Facts • Asteroids are small solar system bodies that orbit the Sun. Made of rock and metal, they also can contain organic compounds (some scientists suggest that asteroids could have brought they necessary chemicals to start life on Earth).

Asteroids come in many shapes and sizes

NIE Coordinator: Dana Wolfe / Graphic Designer: Scarlett E. Smith

• Asteroids vary greatly in size, some feature diameters as small as ten meters while others stretch out over hundreds of kilometers. Note that objects under 10 meters in diameter are generally regarded as meteoroids. • The first asteroid was discovered in 1801 by Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi. Named Ceres, it features a diameter of

around 950 kilometers and is now regarded as a dwarf planet. Ceres was given dwarf planet status in 2006, along with Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. • The asteroid belt lies roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in the solar system. It is home to a large amount of irregular shaped asteroids that range in size from dust through to the dwarf planet Ceres.

recent years. The Shoemaker-Levy comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994 were given widespread media coverage and Hollywood also played its part with moves such as Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998). While these movies sometimes featured dubious science, they certainly increased public awareness of the topic.

• There now are many groups and organizations that use automated systems to discov• The technology used for discovering aster- er near Earth asteroids. While many are disoids has improved dramatically since origicovered, they rarely have the potential to nal discoveries and astronomers now have cross paths with Earth. access to a range of powerful telescopes to aid in their research and discoveries. • There have been many ideas suggested as ways to avoid the unlikely but potentially • It is believed by many scientists and devastating impact of an asteroid collision researchers that an asteroid impact was the with Earth, these include using nuclear cause behind the extinction of the dinosaurs explosions to break the asteroid into smaller around 65 million years ago. pieces or other weapons to deflect it off • The possibility of an asteroid colliding with course. Earth has received increased attention over

The Asteroid Belt

Green Gals Spring Coloring Contest Winners

Karley Jeffries - Troy Kelsey Earick - Piqua Alicia Barhorst - Sidney

Asteroids are rocky or metallic objects, most of which orbit the sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. A few asteroids approach the sun. Read the sentences below to learn about three asteroids that were named after famous people. Conduct an Internet search to find out who these people were. Use the information to complete the sentences. 1. The asteroid 3352 McAuliffe is named after Christa McAuliffe, who was ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ 2. The asteroid 2266 Tchaikovsky is named after a Russian music composer who ________ ________________________________________________________________________ 3. The asteroid 2578 Saint-Exupéry is named after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who ______ ________________________________________________________________________

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Answers — Ronald Wants To Know: planets, crash, rock, orbits, telescopes, earth

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