The Asteroid Belt
The Asteroid Belt is a large group of asteroids orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt includes most asteroids in the Solar System, but not all. The first asteroid to be found, Ceres, was discovered in 1801, when it was initially labeled as a planet. Eventually, enough asteroids were discovered that it became clear they were something new. Many thousands of asteroids are now known.
The asteroid belt is not an asteroid thicket! Many unmanned spacecraft have passed through it on the way to the outer planets, and none have been hit by even a pebble.
An Asteroid Belt
Our solar system is largely assumed to be typical for planetary systems orbiting a single star. If so, one can assume that other stars will likewise each have thousands of asteroids orbiting them. While no doubt the clouds and belts of asteroids in other systems will eventually (if/after they are discovered) be given their own names, one can (at least in regards to science fiction) use the term "asteroid belt" to refer to other groups of rocks in space, and not just ones in our own inner solar system.
Game and Story Use
- It was once thought that the asteroid belt was the remains of a destroyed planet. Though discredited scientifically, it still makes a great game idea.
- A pulpish campaign could even be set on that planet during the run-up to its destruction.
- Belt mining is a possible industry Twenty Minutes from Now.