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             Asteroids are ancient massive fragments left from the formation of the solar system and .
             may hold clues to that early time, which is why they are such an interest to scientists. Most .
             asteroids orbit the sun in a "belt" of debris between Mars and Jupiter, but there are some whose .
             orbits cross or come very close to Earth. To seek the asteroids and comets that threaten us, we .
             return to 5 billion years ago when a huge star exploded, spreading a shock wave and forming a .
             big cloud of hydrogen. This cloud gave off a great amount of heat which formed our sun, this .
             was the beginning of our solar system. .
             Asteroids are any of numerous small planetary bodies that revolve around the sun. .
             Asteroids are called minor planets or planetoids. Most of them are located on the asteroid belt .
             between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The belt contains more than 1,150 asteroids with .
             diameters greater than 18 miles. The average temperature of the surface in a typical asteroid is .
             -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most known asteroids are the shattered remains of a smaller group of .
             larger objects. Asteroids vary greatly in size. The largest and first known asteroid, Ceres, was .
             discovered in 1801. It is 933 kilometers in diameter. One of the smallest that was discovered in .
             1991 and named 1991 BA, is only about 20 feet across. Astronomers classify asteroids into two .
             broad groups based on their composition. One group of asteroids dominates the outer part of the .
             belt. These asteroids are rich in carbon. Their composition hasn't change much since the solar .
             system was formed. Asteroids in the second group, which are located in the inner part of the .
             belt, are rich minerals. These asteroids formed from melted materials. The amount of sunlight .
             or heat reaching the earth depends on the size of the asteroid and it's distance from the sun. .
             Therefore, calculations involving distance and light or heat yield the size of the asteroid.

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