sayyârak-e Kentâwr (#)
Fr.: astéroïde Centaure
An → asteroid whose orbit around the Sun lies typically between the orbits of → Jupiter and → Neptune Neptune (5 to 30 → astronomical units). The first Centaur, called → Chiron, was discovered in 1977, but since then more than 100 roughly similar objects have been found. Three centaurs, Chiron, 60558 Echeclus, and 166P/NEAT 2001 T4, have been found to display → cometary → comas. Chiron and 60558 Echeclus are now classified as both asteroids and → comets. Most of the Centaur asteroids are probably dormant comets from the → Kuiper belt which have been pulled in by the gravity of → outer planets.