|Topics||Asteroids, Kuiper Belt, Meteoroids, Moon, Terrestrial Planets|
The solar system also contains over a million rocky fragments of at least 1km in diameter called asteroids as well as millions more with smaller diameters. Many of these asteroids are an asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The Kuiper Belt is similar to the asteroid belt but much larger. Extending beyond the orbit of Neptune, it contains objects composed mostly of frozen methane, ammonia, and water. Most notably, the Kuiper Belt is home to Pluto, a dwarf planet that, until a 2006 reclassification, was considered the ninth planet of the solar system.
Smaller rocks shed by asteroids and comets are called meteoroids. When these rocks reach Earth's atmosphere, they burn up in the mesosphere and become meteors. If a meteor manages to reach the Earth, it is called a meteorite.
Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction of Earth and the Moon.
The four planets closest to the Sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are called terrestrial (Earth-like) planets because, like the Earth, they're solid with inner metal cores covered by rocky surfaces.