Skip Page Navigation
NASA JPL Caltech
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory + View the NASA Portal
+ Near-Earth Object (NEO) Program
Search JPL
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
JPL Solar System Dynamics
BODIES ORBITS EPHEMERIDES TOOLS PHYSICAL DATA DISCOVERY FAQ SITE MAP
Asteroid Orbital Element Distribution

Shown below is the distribution of asteroids in semimajor axis, eccentricity space contained in the inner solar system. Major groups are shown in the labeled boxes and include the Hungaria, Cybele, Hilda, and Trojan Groups. Also shown are the main-belt zones and the Flora family. Semimajor axis spans from Earth (at 1 AU) to just beyond Jupiter (at 5.2 AU). Mars is at 1.52 AU.

The groups and families shown in this diagram collect asteroids of similar dynamic characteristics. Some of these groups may have formed from the disruption of larger "parent" asteroids (for example, the Flora familiy and Hilda group). In other cases, asteroids are concentrated in dynamically stable regions (for example, the Trojan, Hungaria, and Cybelle groups).

Distribution of asteroid elements

This graph was created in June 2007 using all asteroids with "well-determined" orbits (specifically 159366 numbered asteroids). Orbital element extents/limits were taken as defined in the reference listed below (exception: eccentricity limit of the Hilda Group was increased from 0.3 to 0.35).

A Postscript version of this plot is also available.

References

  1. Gradie, J. C.; Chapman, C. R.; and Tedesco, E. F. (1989) "Distribution of Taxonomic Classes and the Compositional Structure of the Asteroid Belt". In Asteroids II (R. P. Binzel, T. Gehrels, and M. S. Matthews, Eds.), p. 321, Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson.
ABOUT SSD CREDITS/AWARDS PRIVACY/COPYRIGHT GLOSSARY LINKS
FirstGov 2014-Sep-01 07:37 UT 
(server date/time)  
NASA Home Page
Site Manager:   Donald K. Yeomans
Webmaster  Alan B. Chamberlin