ASTEROIDS. By Melissa Goschie. What is an asteroid?. Rocky-metallic objects Range in size from about the size of pebbles to around 600 miles (~1,000 km) across. Much smaller than planets Orbit the sun in an area called the Asteroid Belt.
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By Melissa Goschie
What prevents the asteroids in the belt from plunging towards the Sun and hitting the inner planets in the process?
While the Sun gravitationally pulls the asteroids inward, the gravitational pull of Jupiter is pulling the asteroids outward. Since the belt is closer to Jupiter than it is to the Sun, Jupiter exerts more of an influence on the asteroids. As a result, the asteroids are held in orbit away from the inner planets.