They are there because they would be unstable in
most other places. Asteroids further out would be
disturbed by the gravity of Jupiter or one of the
other gas giants. Asteroids closer in would be
disturbed by the gravity of Mars, Earth, ect. Once
disturbed they would be either flung out of the
solar system or they would end up crashing into
Early in the history of the solar
system there were many many more asteroids. It is
thought that most of these were flung out of the
system, become part of a planet, or fell into the Sun.
It is currently believed that the asteroids in the
asteroid belt are rocks which never managed to
accumulate into an actual planet.In the early
stages of the solar system, before the planets
were formed,a disk of dust and gas orbited the
sun. This matter gradually aggregated to form the
planets we see today. Astronomers believe that the
strong gravitational field of Jupiter continuously
disturbs the motions of asteroids in the belt,
thus preventing them from aggregating and forming
a planet.The total mass of all the asteroids is
actually less than that of the moon.
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