Alternate Definitions for Centaur group

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Term: Centaur group

An asteroid whose orbit around the Sun lies typically between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune (5 to 30 astronomical units). The first Centaur, called Chiron, was discovered in 1977, but since then more than 100 roughly similar objects have been found. Three centaurs, Chiron, 60558 Echeclus, and 166P/NEAT 2001 T4, have been found to display cometary comas. Chiron and 60558 Echeclus are now classified as both asteroids and comets. Most of the Centaur asteroids are probably dormant comets from the Kuiper belt which have been pulled in by the gravity of outer planets.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan