Asteroids, also called minor planets, are small rocky bodies that are leftover material from the building of our solar system. Over 250,000 asteroids have been designated to date. Here are the brightest asteroids (listed by size) that can be viewed using a good pair of binoculars or a telescope. Magnitudes vary based on where the asteroid is located in its orbit:
Images of asteroids taken from planetary probes or research telescopes:
8 planets + 18 dwarf planets
Annual meteor showers
w/ moon Dactyl
Asteroids are grouped according to their orbit range, as follows:
Objects in near-earth orbit. There are about 9,000 objects known ranging from 1 meter to 32 meters in diameter. These asteroids can be further grouped as follows:
The total mass of the asteroid belt is just 4% that of the moon. Millions of asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter (1.8 to 4.0 AU) are in the "asteroid belt".
Mainly, two large groups of asteroids located along the orbital path of Jupiter, 60 degrees ahead and behind the planet at the trojan points. There are also eight Mars Trojans and one Earth Trojan known.