Latest Oort cloud Stories
Terrestrial water most likely did not come from comets like 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, meaning that the H2O found on Earth was most likely brought here by asteroids.
If recent chemical signatures detected from 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are any indication, then it’s a good thing the forthcoming attempt to land a probe on the surface of the comet is an unmanned mission, because the astronauts might not be able to handle the odor.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has produced a unique composite image of comet Siding Spring as it made its never-before-seen close passage of a comet by Mars.
NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 -- also known as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies in May 2014.
A joint research effort between NASA and the European Space Agency has found proof that nitrogen within the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan came from conditions very similar to those that formed most of the ancient comets in the Oort cloud.
Scientists have redefined the edge of the Solar System with the discovery of a new distant dwarf planet, one of thousands of distant objects believed to have formed in the inner Oort cloud..
While the general public is disappointed about the outcome of comet ISON’s perihelion, scientists are thrilled in the data this object was able to bring to the community.
Just prior to its closest approach to the sun on November 28, Comet ISON went through a major heating event, and likely suffered a major disruption. At this time, scientists are not sure how much of the comet survived intact.
Animators at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. created this short movie showing how the sun can cook a comet.
Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of Earth as it plunges headlong toward the sun for a fiery close encounter on Nov. 28th.
Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system, representing a sample of the original composition of the nebula that condensed to form the Sun and all...
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...
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...
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, is half the size of Pluto. Other known Kuiper belt objects are progressively smaller. The exact...
Halley's Comet -- Comet Halley, more generally known as Halley's Comet after Edmond Halley, is the best-known and the brightest of the "short-period" comets from the Kuiper belt that visit the inner solar system in years or decades-long orbits rather than the millennia of comets from the Oort Cloud. Early History Having perceived that the elements of the comet of 1682 were nearly the same as those of two comets which had appeared respectively in 1531 and 1607, Halley concluded that...
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