|Between Mars and Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun, is the asteroid belt, which is made up of thousands of chucks of rock and metal that are orbiting the Sun. Some asteroids are as small as a basketball. Others are as big as a mountain. The biggest is one forth the size of our Moon.
A few asteroids approach the Sun more closely. Asteroids are also known as planetoids or minor planets. The first asteroid discovered is named Ceres; it was discovered in 1801.
Some large asteroids even have orbiting moons. None of the asteroids have atmospheres. Where did the asteroids come from? Some scientist think they are pieces and bits left over from the time of the Big Bang, when the solar system was first formed.
Sometimes asteroids escape from the asteroid belt and wander toward the inner planets. Some scientist think that a huge asteroid might have hit Earth about 65 million years ago, creating tidal waves, fires and a thick cloud of dust that blocked out of the sunlight for years. These scientists think that this terrible disaster wiped out much of the life on our planet, including the dinosaurs.
Directions: Answer the following questions.