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The Question

(Submitted April 25, 1997)

I want a picture of the asteroid belt!

The Answer

The individual asteroids are small and do not reflect a lot of sunlight, so it is not possible to view them all at once... you have to point a telescope at one at a time. Also, the NASA satellite Galileo took some nice pictures of asteroids, see:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap951020.html and http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap950630.html
The latter picture shows an asteroid that has its own little moon.

More pictures and information on asteroids is available at: http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/asteroids.html

Andy Ptak
for the Ask an Astrophysicist Team

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