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What is a Centaur in astronomic terms?
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What is a Centaur in astronomic terms?
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17.07.2014, 16:36
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Centaurs are minor planets which have a somewhat unstable orbital class that exhibit both the characteristics of comets and asteroids. They were originally named after the mythological race of creatures called centaurs which were half human and half horse. These celestial bodies orbit in a transient pattern which cross either one or many large planets and have a life time of probably a few million years. Some estimates reckon that they are around 44,000 various centaurs which have diameters of over 1 km.

The first object discovered which looked like a Centaur was located in 1920 and was named 944 Hidalgo. However these bodies weren
 
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