Asteroid, Planetoid

An astronomical body too small to be considered a planet.

Generally any object less than 500 kilometers in diameter is considered to be a planetoid, although it may be called a moon if it is a satellite of a planet.

Planetoids generally cluster together in planetoid belts which encircle a star. These belts have a number of possible origins. For example, a planet may have failed to coalesce during the formation of its star system. It is also possible that a planet has been torn apart by tidal forces, leaving a path of scattered debris. Finally, many belts in and around the Imperium were formed by "planet-buster" weapons used in the Final War.

For the purposes of distinction, the term asteroid belt is used to describe a planetoid belt which forms the main "world" in a stellar system. The term planetoid belt refers to a belt of minor planets when another belt or world is the main world in a system.

Asteroid and planetoid belts hold between 1,000 and 10,000 asteroids or planetoids each.

The Universal Planetary Profile ( UPP ) uses a world size of 0 to designate a planetoid belt.

Also see ringworld, rosette, sphereworld.

(BOOK-6, 1107)

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