This post was updated on 10 April 2020.
Asteroids are minor planets in the Solar System. It is not unusual for fairly large asteroids to be called planetoids. As astronomers started to discover minor planets in the outer Solar System and beyond, asteroids were defined to be distinguished from the other objects in space.
Here are some of the most famous asteroids and who discovered them.
Vesta is one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, with a mean diameter 326 miles . It was discovered by an astronomer named Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers in the nineteenth century.
The asteroid is named after Vesta, the goddess of home and hearth from Roman mythology.
Vesta is the second-most-massive and second-largest body in the asteroid belt. It said that Vesta contributes to almost one tenth of the entire mass of the asteroid belt.
Numerous parts of Vesta were forced off by collisions billions of years ago that left two gigantic craters inside the asteroid. Debris from Vesta has fallen to Earth as some kind of meteorites, which have helped us understand more about the asteroid.
Ceres sometimes considered a small planet. It is the largest object in the asteroid belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter. It is the 25th-largest object in the Solar System inside the orbit of Neptune.
Ceres is the only object in the asteroid belt that has become round because if its own gravity. The planet is too dim to be seen by the naked eye, except when the skies are very dark.
When it was discovered astronomers thought it was a planet, but later they reclassified as an asteroid after other similar asteroids were discovered.
Pallas another of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. It was the second asteroid to have been discovered after Ceres.
Pallas was discovered by the same astronomer as Vesta, the very famous Heinrich Olbers. It was another planet that was considered a planet.
Pallas is amongst the large objects in the Solar System that is relatively inaccessible to spacecraft due to their orbital eccentricity.
In 2006 it was again considered a potential planet in 2006, but after examination it was found that it didn’t meet the standards to be classified as planet.
We’ve already discussed about Hygiea. It is the fourth-largest asteroid in the Solar System.
Hygiea was discovered by an Astronomer from Naples and as a result , the asteroid was named in honour of the ruling family of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies where Naples was located.
Although a very large asteroid, Hygiea is apparently very dim when observed from Earth. This because of its dark surface also because it very far from the Sun.
Smaller asteroids were discovered before discovered before Hygiea was observed in 1849 this is likely due to the fact that was not very easy to spot it.
However when it is closest to the sun, it can often observed quite easily.