Orion’s Head via NASA

Obviously, these are some of the awesomest things in the universe. But beyond that, what could all of these things have in common? Here’s a hint: The answer has to do with space and astronomy. That probably seemed a tad obvious. Okay, so another hint: They all rock (that’s a pun; two hints for the price of one!). Still not sure what the answer is? Scroll down a tad to see the answer…

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They are the names of asteroids currently floating around in the asteroid belt. If you guessed right, then 10 point to Gryffindor! (or any house of your choosing)

The main body of the asteroid belt is located between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. These are the remnants of rock leftover from the birth of our solar system. In the early stages of our solar system, the rocks circling the sun were pulled together by gravity to form planets and moons and all the other interesting stuff in the solar system. However, Jupiter’s massive gravitational interruptions kept some of the rocks from being a part of the planetary formation.

The leftover rocks then settled into an orbit, which we now know as the asteroid belt.

The dwarf planet Ceres can be found in this region; it makes up approximately a third of the mass of the asteroid belt. What’s more, we recently found proof of water on this tiny object. The asteroid belt once contained enough material to form a planet four times the size of Earth, but again, greedy Jupiter swept away most of the material, not leaving enough behind to form any sort of planet.

As depicted in some sci-fi movies, asteroid belts always seem difficult to navigate through; they require heroic hand to eye co-ordination in order to dodge the plethora of space nuggets that cloud the region. Yet, in reality, this is not the case. The likelihood of smashing into rocks flying through the asteroid belt is slim to none. The distance between the larger asteroids, the ones that could significantly damage your spaceship, is about 2 million kilometers, so unless you’re extremely drunk or your objective is to actually smash into an asteroid, you don’t need heroic hand to eye co-ordination…just the ability to move forward.

What’s more, if things really were that crowded, it would be far more sensible to just fly on a different plane than the objects in the asteroid belt i.e., fly over the asteroid belt. But to each their own.


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