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The Asteroid Belt, often referred to as just the Belt and also known as the main asteroid belt (to distinguish it from the farther out Kuiper belt), is a torus-shaped region in the Sol system, located roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It consists of numerous smaller and bigger asteroids and is part of the so called outer planets region of the system.

Physical information

The four biggest asteroids of the belt, Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea, contain half of its overall mass. In total, the mass of all objects in the asteroid belt is approx. 4% that of Luna or roughly twice that of Charon and is estimated to be around 2.39 × 1021 kg. The size of objects in the belt varies from tiny rocks up to dwarf planets. The temperatures depend on the distance from the sun and typically range from -73 - -108 °C.

History

Human colonization

The Belt was colonized by humans roughly 150 BXT, after the invention of the Epstein Drive by martian engineer Solomon Epstein. In exchange for their independence, Mars thereafter shared the Epstein-technology with Earth, leading to exploitation of resources and later to colonization of asteroids and moons in the belt and the outer system by the two superpowers. People born on the colonized asteroids are called Belters.

Main colonies

Images

  • Size comparisons Ceres / Vesta / Eros
  • Planets of Sol system to scale
  • Size comparisons Moons / Asteroids / Ships

See also

External links

References


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