Images of 42 of the largest asteroids that have been detected between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter have appeared on the website of the European Southern Observatory.

To observe the asteroid belt, astronomers used the Very Large Telescope installed in Chile on Mount Cerro Paranal at an altitude of over 2.6 km. It is a complex of 8.2-meter and 1.8-meter optical telescopes.

Asteroids come in different shapes and sizes. The largest are called Ceres and Vesta. Their diameter is 940 km and 520 km, respectively, and the smallest are Urania and Ausonia, about 90 km in size.