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Family::families    Asteroid::asteroid    Members::orbital    Which::elements    Proper::groups    Several::after

Plot of proper inclination vs. semi-major axis for numbered asteroids. Asteroid families are visible as distinct clumps. Prominent Kirkwood gaps divide the core region. (A, B+C, D, E+F+G)

An asteroid family is a population of asteroids that share similar proper orbital elements, such as semimajor axis, eccentricity, and orbital inclination. The members of the families are thought to be fragments of past asteroid collisions. An asteroid family is a more specific term than asteroid group whose members, while sharing some broad orbital characteristics, may be otherwise unrelated to each other.


Asteroid family sections
Intro  General properties  Origin and evolution  Identification of members and interlopers  Family types  List of families  See also   References   External links  

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