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Latest Kuiper belt Stories

b07d32181d1a1c77dfceefca8a3dd752
2010-02-02 09:40:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before. Asteroid collisions are energetic, with an average impact speed of more than 11,000 miles per hour, or five times faster than a rifle bullet. The comet-like object imaged by Hubble, called...

d2a2801ad600a12cb5f93f1d1562e7ef1
2009-12-16 14:55:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in visible light in the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris that is encircling the outer rim of the solar system just beyond Neptune. The needle-in-a-haystack object found by Hubble is only 3,200 feet across and a whopping 4.2 billion miles away. The smallest Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) seen previously in reflected light is roughly 30 miles across, or 50 times larger. This is the first observational evidence for a...

bae0c58c46c81b0e28630a1e4dc8e0341
2009-09-16 05:30:00

A dark red area discovered on dwarf planet Haumea appears to be richer in minerals and organic compounds than the surrounding icy surface. The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr Pedro Lacerda on Wednesday September 16. The spot was discovered by measuring changes in its brightness as it rotates.  The origin of the spot is unknown, however its "light curve", which describes variations in its brightness over time, is not exactly the same...

0fb29987191e16e01cb26a2b0068be151
2009-06-10 13:35:00

Astronomers are announcing today that a sequence of images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA) clearly reveals the presence of a rotating molecular disk orbiting the young binary star system V4046 Sagittarii. The SMA images provide an unusually vivid snapshot of the process of formation of giant planets, comets, and Pluto-like bodies. The results also confirm that such objects may just as easily form around double stars as around single stars like our Sun. These...

bf9b71c183c9f951285eede8aac709941
2008-11-13 15:40:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star. Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut b, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis (the Southern Fish). Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the early 1980s by NASA's Infrared Astronomy Satellite...

50ab3e13eca9ffce9a6cd6508fe8f2e31
2008-10-27 13:00:00

New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicate that the nearest planetary system to our own has two asteroid belts. Our own solar system has just one.The star at the center of the nearby system, called Epsilon Eridani, is a younger, slightly cooler and fainter version of the sun. Previously, astronomers had uncovered evidence for two possible planets in the system, and for a broad, outer ring of icy comets similar to our own Kuiper Belt.Now, Spitzer has discovered that the...

782c52530c30e938216a03bd106023a5
2008-10-03 10:00:00

When a treasure hunt comes up empty-handed, the hunters are understandably disappointed. But when astronomers don't find what they are looking for, the defeat can provide as much information as a successful search. The search in question, the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS), spent two years periodically photographing portions of the sky to look for small chunks of rock and ice orbiting beyond Neptune, in a region of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt. The survey targeted...

be770b58cf30d88708933ea4378eff4e1
2008-08-25 14:40:00

A new haul of objects closer to home have been found by astronomers looking through the data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.A team led by Dr. Andrew Becker, of the University of Washington, has discovered almost 50 new asteroid-sized bodies in the outer regions of our Solar System by searching through a survey region known as Stripe 82.The robotic Sloan telescope in New Mexico revisited this area of the southern sky every three days in a search of supernovae.  By comparing images...

2008-06-19 10:54:21

An icy, unknown world might lurk in the distant reaches of our solar system beyond the orbit of Pluto, according to a new computer model. The hidden world -- thought to be much bigger than Pluto based on the model -- could explain unusual features of the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond Neptune littered with icy and rocky bodies. Its existence would satisfy the long-held hopes and hypotheses for a "Planet X" envisioned by scientists and sci-fi buffs alike. "Although the search for a...

2008-06-14 13:27:08

Updated 6:35 p.m. ET Pluto's years-long identity crisis just got more complex today. The International Astronomical Union has decided on the term "plutoid" as a name for Pluto and other objects that just two years ago were redefined as "dwarf planets." The surprise decision is unlikely to stem ongoing controversy and confusion, astronomers say. Sidestepping concerns of many astronomers worldwide, the IAU's decision, at a meeting of its Executive Committee in Oslo, comes almost two years...


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
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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