Latest Kuiper belt Stories
After a journey of more than eight years, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has finally entered the first of several planned approach phases around Pluto, and these will culminate with a historic first-ever flyby of the dwarf planet this summer.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's New Horizons spacecraft recently began its long-awaited, historic encounter with Pluto.
Terrestrial water most likely did not come from comets like 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, meaning that the H2O found on Earth was most likely brought here by asteroids.
After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles — the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation on Saturday for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system.
To find other planets, conventional wisdom would tell you to follow the stars. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, however, tell us to follow the dust.
If recent chemical signatures detected from 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are any indication, then it’s a good thing the forthcoming attempt to land a probe on the surface of the comet is an unmanned mission, because the astronauts might not be able to handle the odor.
Three new Kuiper Belt objects that could possibly be visited by the New Horizons spacecraft have been uncovered by the Hubble Space Telescope.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune.
NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune. This is its last major crossing en route to becoming the first probe to make a close encounter with distant Pluto on July 14, 2015.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
- Monstrous in size or character; huge; prodigious; monstrously perverse, savage, cruel, etc.