a small rocky body orbiting the sun. Large numbers of these, ranging in size from nearly 600 miles (1,000 km) across (Ceres) to dust particles, are found (as the asteroid belt ) especially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits, and a few pass close to the earth or enter the atmosphere as meteors.
Ceres was initially considered to be a planet until other asteroids with similar orbits were found.
an echinoderm of the class Asteroidea ; a starfish.
The asteroid is preserved with the dorsal surface exposed.