Latest Kuiper belt Stories
The New Horizons spacecraft, scheduled for launch in mid-January, will investigate the far-off planet Pluto and its icy moons. This will be the first spacecraft to study the Pluto system, as well as the mysterious outer region of our solar system known as the Kuiper Belt.
Astronomers have found a debris disk around a sun-like star that may be forming or has formed its terrestrial planets. The disk - a probable analog to our asteroid belt - may have begun a solar-system-scale demolition derby, where the rocky remains of failed planets collide chaotically.
A small spacecraft bound for Pluto was being prepared for transfer to the launch pad on Friday in preparation for blastoff next month, NASA officials said.
A distant object named Buffy has been spotted circling the sun far beyond Neptune in a strange tilted orbit that is making some astronomers question how the outer reaches of the solar system formed.
By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pluto, that cosmic oddball at the far reaches of our solar system, may have three moons instead of one, scientists announced on Monday.
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to view the ninth planet in our solar system, astronomers discovered Pluto may have not one, but three moons. If confirmed, the discovery of the two new moons could offer insights into the nature and evolution of the Pluto system; Kuiper Belt Objects with satellite systems; and the early Kuiper Belt.
The discovery of a new planetoid has set off a bitter feud between American and Spanish scientists while raising questions about the ethics of Internet research.
By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Xena, the possible 10th planet in our solar system, has its own moon, a dim little satellite called Gabrielle, its discoverers reported.
The astronomers who claim to have discovered the 10th planet in the solar system have another intriguing announcement: It has a moon. The moon discovery is important because it can help scientists determine the new planet's mass.
Comet Tempel-1 may have been born in the region of the solar system occupied by Uranus and Neptune today, according to one possibility from an analysis of the comet's debris blasted into space by NASA's Deep Impact mission.
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...
- The act of burning, scorching, or heating to dryness; the state or being thus heated or dried.
- In medicine, cauterization.