We're not sure. It might have been from the
collision of two or more planets. Or the
asteroids there might have just collected from
dust in the early solar system, and never gotten
big enough to form planets. One curious thing is,
if you draw all the orbits of all the planets in
the solar system, it looks like there's a planet
missing. The orbit of the "missing planet" happens
to be where the asteroid belt is. So a lot of
people believe there was once a planet there, but
it was smashed up into rocks (asteroids).
I don't think anybody knows. The dynamics by
which planets and planetoid bodies like asteroids
form and wind up in the positions that they do are
obscure.There are theories out there that
"explain" how our solar system came to be laid out
the way that it is,but with the discovery of other
solar systems with very different arrangements of
planets and their orbits, I think it is safe to
say that we really have no idea how all of it came
to be in our solar system.I think I can say that
we are *not* typical in the universe, if there
even is a "typical".
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