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Latest Kuiper belt Stories

orbit diagram for the outer solar system
2014-03-27 03:59:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have redefined the edge of the Solar System with the discovery of a new distant dwarf planet. The scientists reported in the journal Nature this week that they found 2012 VP113 sitting beyond the known edge of the Solar System. The new dwarf planet is one of thousands of distant objects believed to have formed in the inner Oort cloud. Not only does this new discovery bring into question the currently defined edge of the...

NASA Asks For Help From Citizen Scientists In Finding Planetary Nurseries
2014-01-31 05:14:28

[ Watch the Video: Help NASA Find Embryonic Planetary Systems ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online NASA unveiled its ‘Disk Detective’ initiative on Thursday, inviting members of the public to help astronomers discover embryonic planetary systems hidden among data generated by the agency’s Wide-field infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The data mining and analysis effort is NASA's largest ever crowdsourcing project, and the agency says its main goal is...

New Horizons Closer To Pluto
2014-01-15 10:27:33

[ Watch The Video: Countdown To Pluto ] Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is one of the fastest ever built. Launched in 2006 and traveling at one million miles per day, its destination is one of the most distant bodies in our solar system, the ex-planet Pluto. According to NASA, New Horizons reached Jupiter in February 2007 and with a close fly by it received a gravitational push to shorten its destination time by three years. Alan...

Young Astronomers In Western US Communities To Investigate Outer Solar System
2014-01-07 12:01:51

[ Watch The Video: Young Astronomers to Investigate the Outer Solar System ] National Science Foundation With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), astronomers Marc Buie and John Keller are involving citizen scientists from throughout the western United States to participate in "RECON," which stands for the Research and Education Cooperative Occultation Network. The project has provided telescope equipment and training to 14 small western US communities north and...

New Neptune Moon
2013-07-15 15:30:53

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to NASA, the Hubble Space Telescope has revealed that Neptune has been hiding another moon, bringing the total count of moons orbiting the planet to 14. The new moon, named S/2004 N 1, is no more than 12 miles across, making it the smallest known moon in the Neptunian system. NASA said this moon is so small that it is about 100 million times fainter than the faintest star that can be seen with the naked eye. The moon is so...

Pluto's Moon Charon Spotted By New Horizons
2013-07-12 04:08:31

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has been Pluto-bound since its launch January 19, 2006. Using its highest-resolution telescopic camera, the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), New Horizons has spotted Pluto's Texas-sized, ice covered moon Charon for the first time, representing a major milestone on the 9.5 year journey. The spacecraft's mission is to conduct initial reconnaissance of the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt, and this...

NASA Finds New Asteroid Belt Discovered Orbiting Vega
2013-01-09 15:11:09

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A team of U.S. astronomers has discovered what looks to be a large asteroid belt orbiting around Vega, the second-brightest star in the northern sky, NASA officials announced on Tuesday. Using data obtained from the Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, the researchers discovered infrared light emitted by warm and cold dust in bands around both Vega and Fomalhaut, a second...

2013-01-08 20:20:10

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a large asteroid belt around the star Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies. The scientists used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, in which NASA plays an important role. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The discovery of an asteroid belt-like band of debris around Vega makes...

Astronomers Discover Comets Scattered Throughout Planetary Systems
2012-11-27 14:21:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts that are surrounding two nearby planetary systems using the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel space observatory. Scientists found that that nearby planetary systems, GJ 581 and 61 Vir, have been found to host vast amounts of cometary debris. The ESA observatory detected the signatures of cold dust in quantities that mean these systems must have at least 10 times more...


Latest Kuiper belt Reference Libraries

6_07e7808819d3a0e0b1e9459490122f2b2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...

6_79b1bf0245952aa2e5b479867b1c322b2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Asteroid -- An asteroid, also called a minor planet or planetoid, is a member of a group of small, planet-like bodies that are part of our solar system. They are believed to be remnants of the interstellar clouds, nebula, that were not incorporated into planets during the formation of the solar system. The largest asteroid in the inner solar system is Ceres with a diameter of 1003 km. It also was the first to be discovered, by Giuseppe Piazzi on January 1, 1801. Nowadays, over 9000...

Solar System
2012-10-22 06:09:41

The Solar System refers to the area in space that is dominated by our own Sun. It is comprised of the Sun and its associated astronomical objects that are held in its gravitational orbit. The Solar System was formed as a result of the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The mass of this system is located almost entirely in the Sun. Apart from the Sun, a high percentage of the remainder of the system’s mass is located in the eight solitary planets that...

4_fa986c4947be6caa1fdc9a322408b0882
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Quaoar -- Quaoar ("kwah-oh-ahr", /kwA o Ar/) is a Trans-Neptunian object circling the Sun in the Kuiper belt, discovered in 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Mike Brown at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Quaoar is estimated to have a diameter of about 1,280 kilometres, which would make it the largest Solar System object discovered since Pluto and, indeed, the largest known minor planet. Larger than all the asteroids put together, it is about one...

4_dc08febfcab194aed2ada6677c525dc62
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Oort Cloud -- The Oort cloud is a postulated cloud of comets situated about 50,000 to 100,000 AU from the sun. Although no direct observations have been made of such a cloud, it is believed to be the source of most or all comets entering the inner solar system (some short-period comets may come from the Kuiper belt), based on observations of the orbits of comets. The Oort cloud was proposed in 1950 by Dutch astronomer Jan Oort to explain an apparent contradiction: comets are destroyed...

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