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Latest Kuiper belt Stories

2006-01-19 17:57:42

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The world's first mission to Pluto blasted into space on Thursday after its launch aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket to begin a 9 1/2-year journey to the only unexplored planet in the solar system. "It's now our job to be good stewards of the spacecraft. and to learn to fly it in the real environment that it was built for," Alan Stern, the mission's lead scientist from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, told a...

2006-01-19 16:35:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The world's first mission to Pluto blasted into space on Thursday on an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket to begin a 9 1/2-year journey to the only unexplored planet in the solar system. After two days of delays due to poor weather and a power outage, the 197-foot-tall (60-metre-tall) rocket, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., lifted off at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch team remained on edge until 45 minutes later...

2006-01-19 14:53:26

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The world's first mission to Pluto blasted into space on Thursday on an Atlas 5 unmanned rocket to begin a 9 1/2-year journey to the only unexplored planet in the solar system. After two days of delays due to poor weather and a power outage, the 197-foot tall (60-meter) rocket, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., lifted off at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. High winds at the Florida launch site forced the...

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2006-01-19 13:05:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- An unmanned NASA spacecraft the size and shape of a concert piano hurtled toward Pluto on Thursday on a 3-billion-mile journey to the solar system's last unexplored planet - a voyage so long that some of the scientists who will be celebrating its arrival are still in junior high. The New Horizons spacecraft blasted off aboard an Atlas V rocket in a spectacular start to the $700 million mission. Though it is the fastest spacecraft ever launched, capable of reaching...

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2006-01-19 11:57:41

NASA -- These two bright debris disks of ice and dust appear to be the equivalent of our own solar system's Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy rocks outside the orbit of Neptune and the source of short-period comets. The disks encircle the types of stars around which there could be habitable zones and planets for life to develop. The disks seem to have a central area cleared of debris, perhaps by planets. The new disks, each about 60 light-years from Earth, bring to nine the number of dusty debris...

2006-01-18 10:57:18

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA canceled Wednesday's launch of the U.S. space agency's first probe to Pluto after the mission control headquarters in Maryland lost power, officials said. The launch of the piano-sized New Horizons spacecraft on a massive Atlas 5 rocket had been postponed from Tuesday due to high winds at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA officials said it was not immediately clear why mission control at Johns Hopkins University's...

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2006-01-18 06:40:00

NASA -- In the not-too-distant past, the planet Pluto was thought to be an odd bird in the outer reaches of the solar system because it has a moon, Charon, that was formed much like Earth's own moon was formed. But Pluto is getting a lot of company these days. Of the four largest objects in the Kuiper belt, three have one or more moons. "We're now beginning to realize that Pluto is one of a small family of similar objects, nearly all of which have moons in orbit around them," says Antonin...

2006-01-17 16:02:16

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA on Tuesday delayed the liftoff of its first probe to Pluto because of high winds and rescheduled the launch for Wednesday, officials at the U.S. space agency said. The piano-sized New Horizons probe had been due to take off on a massive unmanned Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station between 1:24 p.m. and 3:23 p.m. (1824 GMT and 2023 GMT). But launch commentator Bruce Buckingham said ground level winds at the...

2006-01-15 15:00:15

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA's first space probe to Pluto, set to lift off on Tuesday, will use radioactive plutonium pellets to power much of its expected nine-year journey to the far reaches of the solar system. The U.S. space agency, which is seeing protests against the plutonium load, will use the largest rocket in the U.S. fleet as part of a plan that calls for bouncing the small probe, about the size of a grand piano, off Jupiter's massive gravity...

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2006-01-12 14:35:00

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cliff Friedman's name may go far in Dallas real estate circles, but that doesn't come close to the 3 billion-mile trip it will begin in a few weeks. Friedman's name is one of about 435,000 names placed on a compact disc that will be in the New Horizons spacecraft when it launches from Cape Canaveral this week on a mission to Pluto and the outer edges of the solar system. "My wife thinks it should be put out a little bit further," said Friedman, 48, a Dallas real estate...


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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