Latest Oort cloud Stories

Comet Pan-STARRS Sweeps Across the Sky
2014-07-04 03:42:26

Whitney Clavin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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. The comet is named after the astronomical survey project called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii, which discovered the icy visitor in May 2012. Comet Pan-STARRS hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, from a vast and distant reservoir of...

building blocks of comets
2014-06-24 08:52:55

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online 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, according to a new report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The Oort cloud is a spherical cloud of predominantly icy space rocks believed to surround the Sun at a radius far outside the Solar...

orbit diagram for the outer solar system
2014-03-27 03:59:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have redefined the edge of the Solar System with the discovery of a new distant dwarf planet. The scientists reported in the journal Nature this week that they found 2012 VP113 sitting beyond the known edge of the Solar System. The new dwarf planet is one of thousands of distant objects believed to have formed in the inner Oort cloud. Not only does this new discovery bring into question the currently defined edge of the...

Comet ISON Lives On In Scientific Data
2013-12-10 19:54:10

[ Watch the Video: Comet ISON - Gone But Not Forgotten ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online 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. Comet ISON made its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, and predictions showed it had a 50/50 shot whether or not the comet would survive. Days after perihelion, scientists saw that only a...

Searching For What Is Left OF Comet ISON
2013-12-05 08:56:07

NASA 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. We may be seeing emission from rubble and debris in the comet's trail, along its orbit, or we may be seeing the resumption of cometary activity from a sizable nucleus-sized chunk of ISON. Most agree that up to 90 percent of ISON was destroyed, leaving...

How The Sun Can Cook A Comet
2013-11-21 16:17:27

[ Watch the Video: NASA's Recipe On How To Cook A Comet ] NASA A comet's journey through the solar system is perilous and violent. A giant ejection of solar material from the sun could rip its tail off. Before it reaches Mars -- at some 230 million miles away from the sun -- the radiation of the sun begins to boil its water, the first step toward breaking the comet apart. And, if it survives all this, the intense radiation and pressure as it flies near to the surface of the sun...

comet ison
2013-11-15 07:05:33

NASA Science Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of Earth as it plunges headlong toward the sun for a fiery close encounter on Nov. 28th. Although the comet is not yet as bright as many forecasters predicted, the comet is putting on a good show for observatories around the solar system. NASA spacecraft and amateur astronomers alike are snapping crisp pictures of the comet's gossamer green atmosphere and filamentary double-tail. Because ISON has never passed through the inner solar system...

2013-09-20 23:01:49

The NASA/JPL/UMD Deep Impact spacecraft ends its missions, but leaves a powerful, UMD-led legacy of scientific discovery. College Park, MD (PRWEB) September 20, 2013 NASA today announced the end of operations for the Deep Impact spacecraft, history’s most traveled deep-space comet hunter, after trying unsuccessfully for more than a month to regain contact with the spacecraft. UMD scientists – who helped conceive the mission, bring it to reality and keep it going years longer than...

Comet ISON May Fizzle Out
2013-07-30 10:54:51

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Once dubbed "the Comet of the Century," Comet ISON may prematurely fizzle out before its much anticipated spectacular debut, according to an analysis from astronomer Ignacio Ferrin, with the University of Antioquia in Colombia. "The future of comet ISON does not look bright," Ferrin said in a statement. According to the astronomer's calculations, the comet has not increased in brightness since the middle of January - a somewhat...

Comet ISON On Uncertain Course Towards The Sun
2013-05-31 04:32:24

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun, according to a new series of images from the Gemini Earth Observatory. Comet ISON might present a stunning sight in the twilight sky of late November that will remain easily visible, even brilliant, into early December. Gemini´s time-sequence images span from early February through May 2013, showing the comet´s remarkable activity...

Latest Oort cloud Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

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...

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...

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, is half the size of Pluto. Other known Kuiper belt objects are progressively smaller. The exact...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

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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Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.