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8603 Senator (3134 T-3) is a main-belt asteroid discovered on
October 16, 1977 by Cornelis Johannes van Houten, Ingrid van
Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory. Asteroids
(from Greek 'star' and 'like, in form') are a class of small Solar
System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called
planetoids, especially the larger ones. These terms have
historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the
Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not observed to
have the characteristics of an active comet, but as small objects
in the outer Solar System were discovered, their volatile-based
surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets, and so were
often distinguished from traditional asteroids.
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