, were once considered to be the ‘
vermin of the solar system
’. They would leave
on what would have been lovely photographs of galaxies and nebulae. It has only been in the last fifty years
or so that their importance in studying the history of the solar system has become apparent.
The first asteroid was discovered in 1801 by
, one of the ‘
’. That object was given the
. Since the development of glass plate photography and now digital imaging, the discovery of these objects has become much easier.
shows how one ‘blinks’ for asteroids.
There is a
system for naming
newly discovered minor planets. Soon after that, three more objects were found in what was to become known as
the asteroid belt.
, and another large object, Vesta, are being explored by the
We now know of
hundreds of thousands
of minor planets, and
here is where they are right now
. Thousands of them have been named.
Several of these minor planets have
rock and roll names.
Is your name among them?
Minor Planet Center
is the official source of all information about these objects.
Much has been learned in the last few decades about the
physical nature of minor planets