Asteroid Family's Shattered Past
Asteroid Family's Shattered Past

This artist's conception shows how families of asteroids are created. Over the history of our solar system, catastrophic collisions between asteroids located in the belt between Mars and Jupiter have formed families of objects on similar orbits around the sun.

New data from NASA's NEOWISE project, based on observations made by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), have revealed the sizes and reflectivity of members of these asteroids families. The findings are helping scientists better understand how the families formed and evolved.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator