Latest Scattered disc Stories
The small celestial bodies orbiting between the sun and Jupiter and Neptune are known as centaurs, and their true identity has been one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics.
The 1,000 objects so far directly imaged in the Kuiper Belt â€“ that swath of icy bodies circling around the sun with Pluto â€“ appear to be a wide range of colors: red, blue, and white.
A distant object named Buffy has been spotted circling the sun far beyond Neptune in a strange tilted orbit that is making some astronomers question how the outer reaches of the solar system formed.
Comet Tempel-1 may have been born in the region of the solar system occupied by Uranus and Neptune today, according to one possibility from an analysis of the comet's debris blasted into space by NASA's Deep Impact mission.
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...