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Latest Kuiper belt Stories

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...

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...

Ancient Star Surrounded By Gas From Comet Collisions
2012-11-09 10:48:05

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using a radio telescope in the mountainous area of southern Spain back in 1995, astronomer Benjamin Zuckerman and two colleagues found an unusually high amount of carbon monoxide gas orbiting a star in the constellation Cetus, 49 CETI. "We now believe that 49 CETI is 40 million years old, and the mystery is how in the world can there be this much gas around an otherwise ordinary star that is this old," said Zuckerman, currently a UCLA...

Zombie Planet Interview With Dr Thayne Currie
2012-11-02 14:22:24

Dr. John Millis and Jedidiah Becker for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online In 2008, astronomers announced that the Hubble Space Telescope had captured images of an alien planet orbiting the nearby star Fomalhaut, located a mere 25 light years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. Dubbed Fomalhaut b and claimed as the first exoplanet to be confirmed through direct imaging in visible light, the planet appeared to orbit its star immersed in a massive ring of dust and debris....

Preparing New Horizons: Obstacle Operations Planned Ahead Of Pluto Contact
2012-10-16 16:17:54

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is nearly seven years into its 9.5-year journey across the solar system to explore Pluto and its moons, but that journey is still far from over. As the spacecraft travels through space, its team has become aware of the possibility that dangerous debris may be orbiting in the Pluto system. "We've found more and more moons orbiting near Pluto -- the count is now up to five," Dr. Alan Stern,...

Asteroids Following Jupiter’s Solar Orbit Show Their True Colors
2012-10-16 08:51:09

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Jovian asteroids that orbit the Sun on the same trajectory as the gas giant Jupiter have been studied more closely by scientists using NASA´s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). These asteroids travel in packs, like hungry wolves stalking their prey, some racing ahead of the gas giant, while others trail behind. The observations of these Jovian predators are the first detailed look at their true colors. Scientists...

Olivine Found In Beta Pictoris
2012-10-04 05:20:13

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory has discovered pristine material that matches comets in our own Solar System in a dust belt around the young star Beta Pictoris. Beta Pictoris is 12 million years old, and resides a short 63 light-years from Earth. A gas giant planet and a dusty debris disc that has the potential to evolve into a torus of icy bodies like those of the Kuiper Belt found outside the orbit of...

Pluto Demoted From Planetary Status Five Years Ago Today
2012-08-24 12:54:31

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online On August 24, 2006, the solar system´s most distant family member -- tiny, isolated icy planet Pluto -- received some shocking news: it would no longer be considered a true planet. The ruling spurred a hotbed of controversy, with many experts disagreeing with Pluto´s new status as a “dwarf planet.” Despite the controversy and oppositions from scientists and laypeople alike, the ruling went through, reducing...


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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Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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