• Question: what are astroid and how do they from????

    Asked by whakashandcody to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      We covered how planets form in another question – tiny blobs of dust and rock collide and clump together, and they get bigger and bigger until they’re big enough to make up a planet!

      Not every bit of rock or dust is lucky though. Some don’t get big enough and stay at a much smaller size. Most asteroids are formed in this manner I think! Smaller asteroids can also be formed when big chunks of rock collide in space, or hit other planets (if the asteroid is big enough, and the planet is small enough, it can throw up more rock into space).

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 5 Jul 2012:

      As Mike said – after the Big Bang there were lots of bits of dust moving around in space. The bits of dust banged into each other and became bigger. Bigger bits of dust banged into more dust and became bigger and bigger until they were essentially rocks. These rocks got bigger and eventually formed the planets.

      An asteroid is just effectively a really tiny planet. The asteroids in our solar system also orbit the sun.