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Kuiper belt Reference Libraries

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Planet
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...

Asteroid
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...

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...

Quaoar
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,...

Oort Cloud
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...

Kuiper Belt
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Kuiper Belt -- The Kuiper belt is an area of the solar system extending outwards from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to 50 AU. The largest of the objects in the Kuiper belt are the planet Pluto and its moon Charon. A new Kuiper belt object, currently called 2001 KX76, has been found that is about the size of Charon, and larger than Ceres. Another such object, Quaoar, discovered in 2002,...

Pluto
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Pluto -- Pluto is the ninth and smallest planet of our solar system. It was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona on February 18, 1930 (although the body was first photographed on March 19, 1915). Tombaugh was searching for a "Planet X" to explain the orbit of Neptune; further analysis, with seven decades more data about Neptune's position,...

Neptunes Moon Nereid
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Nereid -- Nereid ("NEER ee ed") is the outermost of Neptune's known moons and the third largest, with a diameter of 340 km. Its orbit averages 5,513,400 km in radius, but is highly eccentric and varies from 1,353,600 to 9,623,700 kilometers. This is the most highly eccentric orbit of any known planet or satellite in the solar system. This unusual orbit suggests that it may be a...

Uranus Moon Sycorax
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Sycorax -- Sycorax is a moon of Uranus. It was named after a witch living on an island in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Its orbital radius is approximately 12.2 million km from Uranus and is about 160 km in diameter, but this size estimate is based on the moon's apparent brightness and the assumption that it has an albedo of about 0.07. Its orbit is retrograde...

Word of the Day
megalophonous
  • Having a loud voice; vociferous; clamorous.
  • Of grand or imposing sound.
The word 'megalophonous' comes from Greek roots meaning 'big' and 'sound'.