What is a Centaur?

Centaurs are minor planets that are generally found in orbits between Jupiter and Neptune. That is, their perihelion distance is beyond the orbit of Jupiter, and their semimajor axes are less than that of Neptune. Centaurs are named for the half-horse / half-man mythological beasts, for the reason that these strange objects sometimes appear as icy comet-like bodies, and sometimes like typical rocky asteroids. The largest centaur discovered to date is 10199 Chariklo which is 260-km across (160-miles). The orgins of centaurs are not fully understood. Some researchers beleive they are derived from the Kuiper Belt, while others beleive they are part of the family of scattered disc objects.