Kirkwood gaps, regions in the asteroid belt within which few asteroids are found. Astronomer Daniel Kirkwood first observed (1886) that few asteroids had an orbital period close to 1⁄2, 1⁄3, or 2⁄5 that of Jupiter. The gaps could have been formed by collisions between asteroids; however, the most widely accepted theory is that the gaps were formed by gravitational interactions with Jupiter, which over time would move any small body into another orbit.
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