Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, January 1, 2018

The First Asteroid.

OK, that title to this blog is a little misleading.  No one has any idea what or where the first asteroid is or was.  I should have said what was the first asteroid to be seen by a human who knew that it was something more than a speck of light.  Would you believe that it was way back on this day in 1801?

Giuseppe Piazzi discovered it and named it Ceres.  At first he thought that it was a comet and later he thought it was a planet and named it Ceres.  It was orbiting our sun between Mars and Jupiter.  Asteroids are what you may call minor planets or failed planets.  They just never acquired enough mass to be classified as a planet, it is 606 miles in diameter.  Some thought that it may have been a comet but it wasn't active enough to be a comet, no out-gassing and thus no tail.  Here is an example of three asteroids.

As you can see in the above picture, they are large chunks of rock that come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  The larger ones seem to be big enough and possess enough gravity to pull themselves into spheres.  That is why they are sometimes referred to as minor planets.  OK, that is enough useless information that you will probably never use, so just have a great New Year and have a great day and a great year, you hear?


6 comments:

  1. I've always thought that asteroids are fascinating. I'd love to go to the asteroid belt before I head onto Uranus.

    Thanks for this post, Dizzy-Dick and I'm wishing y'all a very nice 2018.

    Gary

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    1. I have a few telescopes, the biggest is taller than I am and has a 16" dia. primary mirror. It brakes down into three pieces which allows me to take it outside and bring it back in. My favorite few is of the Orion Nebula.

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  2. Very interesting information. Happy New Year to you and the Mrs. I have always enjoyed astronomy.

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    1. I haven't had my big scope out for awhile. Think I will wait until it warms up a bit. This below freezing weather is not right for the east coast of Texas.

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  3. I didn't realize that the asteroids just look like barren hunks of rock. Have we ever come close enough with a camera to determine what the surface looks like?

    While we are on the subject of planets and such, do any of them have any signs of things growing on them, such as trees or grass? What is it about earth that gives us so much plant an animal life - is it our atmosphere, and do none of the other planets have an atmosphere? Just curious.

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    1. Nothing seems to be growing on any of the planets but there is a moon out that has an ice covered ocean on it and that ocean may contain life.

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