The asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter, contains the vast majority of asteroids in the inner Solar System. There is one dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, called Ceres, which is about 950 km in diameter and accounts for about a third of the total mass within the belt. Everything else is smaller, ranging down to the size of dust particles. Although there is room between Mars and Jupiter for another full planet, Jupiter's immense gravitational influence prevented one from forming there when the Solar System first began.
In the articles below, learn more about the asteroid belt, asteroids in general, the history of asteroids in astronomy, and our modern space exploration programs to the belt and beyond. Also find ideas for lesson plans and science projects about the asteroid belt, and tips for how to handle asteroids in a multitude of games.