One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small rocky body orbiting the sun. Large numbers of these, ranging enormously in size, are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits.
celestial body, heavenly body, sunView synonyms
- ‘In our own solar system, asteroids have collided with Earth, the moon and other planets.’
- ‘Our knowledge of comets and asteroids has dramatically improved over the last 20 years.’
- ‘Once an asteroid drifts into either of those regions, it's hard for it to get out.’
- ‘Most of the larger asteroids and comets are also in stable orbits around the sun.’
- ‘Comets and asteroids also contribute to the near-Earth space environment.’
- ‘When the asteroid hit, it was vaporized by the extreme energy of the impact.’
- ‘So to neglect the problem means that we are vulnerable to asteroid collisions.’
- ‘Dinosaurs may not have been killed off by asteroid impact dust blocking out sunlight, a geologist says.’
- ‘These scientists also study the natural satellites of other planets as well as asteroids and comets.’
- ‘We know very little about these families of asteroids following the same orbit.’
- ‘Our star system is chock full of asteroids and comets, in every conceivable orbit and location.’
- ‘In many ways asteroids and comets are likely to offer more varied and abundant natural resources than the Moon.’
- ‘You can also get asteroid hazard warnings and geomagnetic storm outlooks.’
- ‘Ceres was initially considered to be a planet until other asteroids with similar orbits were found.’
- ‘Some explanations for extinctions and evolution include strikes by asteroids or comets.’
- ‘Amateur astronomers have made many asteroid, comet, and supernova discoveries.’
- ‘It's just that you can't keep quiet about things like asteroid impacts.’
- ‘There may be other families of small asteroids within our solar system that, even now, remain to be discovered.’
- ‘Both comets and asteroids are the left-over building blocks of the planets in our solar system.’
- ‘It has been suggested that impacts with comets and asteroids provided Earth with much of its water.’
- ‘Fragments of asteroids and comets pervade interplanetary space.’
- ‘Most of the known asteroids orbit the sun in a belt between Mars and Jupiter.’
- ‘These glaciers are spotted with craters caused by asteroid impacts.’
An echinoderm of the class Asteroidea, which comprises the starfishes.
- ‘The fossil record is a potential source of needed data, although fossil asteroids are rare, and they tend to be poorly preserved.’
- ‘Available morphological data suggest no ecologic parameters that would be unusual among living asteroids.’
- ‘Both approaches will shed light on the adaptive significance and functional morphology of asteroids.’
- ‘The asteroid is preserved with the dorsal surface exposed.’
- ‘An unpaired commonly enlarged interbrachial ossicle, the axillary, occurs in most Paleozoic asteroids, including those treated here.’
Relating to or denoting echinoderms of the class Asteroidea.
Early 19th century: from Greek asteroeidēs ‘starlike’, from astēr ‘star’.
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