New study sheds light on formation of asteroid belt - Tucson News Now

New study sheds light on formation of asteroid belt

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Source: (CNN/NASA) Source: (CNN/NASA)
Source: (CNN/NASA) Source: (CNN/NASA)

(CNN) - Scientists are shedding new light on how the asteroid belt came to be.

A new study in the Journal Nature says contrary to long-held beliefs, the asteroids came from all over the solar system.

Scientists once believed the asteroids on the main belt between Mars and Jupiter formed more-or-less in place.

But new modeling suggests the gravitational pull of the planets, especially the largest planet in our solar system – Jupiter – helped create a "melting pot" of asteroids that were once scattered all over.

There are about 500,000 known asteroids in the main belt.

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