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The asteroids, (7472) Kumakiri and (10537) 1991 RY16, were found to contain basalt, a grey-black mineral that forms much of the crust on Earth and the other inner planets. Basalt has also been found in space rocks shed by Vesta, the third largest object in the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. The presence of basalt is evidence that an object was once large enough to sustain internal heating.
One possibility, Gaffey told SPACE.com, is that the parent bodies of Kumakiri and 1991 RY16 were long ago worn down by repeated collisions into smaller and smaller pieces, which have since been whisked out of our solar system.
The finding, made using photometric data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), was presented at annual European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany.
Originally posted by Essan
...but adding all the asteroids together, and even allowing for say half the mass to have been captured by other planets over time, you'd still only end up with a body much smaller than the larger Jovian Moons and not a full planet.
Where Did All the Mass Go?
Although over 10,000 asteroids have well-determined orbits, the combined mass of all other asteroids is not as great as that of the largest asteroid, Ceres. That makes the total mass of the asteroid belt only about 0.001 of the mass of the Earth. A frequently asked question is, if a major planet exploded, where is the rest of its mass?
Consider what would happen if the Earth exploded today. Surface and crustal rocks would shatter and fragment, but remain rocks. However, rocks from depths greater than about 40 km are under so much pressure at high temperature that, if suddenly released into a vacuum, such rocks would vaporize. As a consequence, over 99% of the Earth’s total mass would vaporize in an explosion, with only its low-pressure crustal and upper mantle layers surviving.