Orbits

The vast majority of minor planets orbit the Sun in the region of the solar system between the planets Mars and Jupiter, forming a feature known as "the Asteroid Belt" or "the Main Belt". In recent years, however, minor planets have been detected whose orbits carry them closer to the Sun than Earth or well beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto. A histogram of all known minor planets, showing the number of objects with semimajor axes varying from a fraction up to several astronomical units (the distance from the Sun to the Earth), is maintained by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (IAU MPC).

Many of the orbits lying outside the Main Belt have been grouped according to similar properties. These include the following: