Kuiper belt


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Kuiper belt:

see cometcomet
[Gr.,=longhaired], a small celestial body consisting mostly of dust and gases that moves in an elongated elliptical or nearly parabolic orbit around the sun or another star. Comets visible from the earth can be seen for periods ranging from a few days to several months.
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; Kuiper, Gerard PeterKuiper, Gerard Peter or Gerrit Pieter
, 1905–73, American astronomer, b. the Netherlands. Kuiper is considered to be the father of modern planetary science for his wide ranging studies of the solar system.
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Kuiper belt

A disk of some 107 to 109 comets that hugs the plane of the planetary system and lies between about 35 and 1000 AU from the Sun. Chiron may have come from this disk.

Kuiper Belt

[′kī·pər ‚belt]
(astronomy)
A vast reservoir of icy bodies in the region of the solar system beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune, with diameters estimated in the 100-1200-kilometer (60-750-mile) range. Also known as Edgeworth-Kuiper belt.
References in periodicals archive ?
Careening rocks and ice chunks in elongated, high-inclination orbits--like many of those in the Kuiper belt today--would hit with high velocity, which would break them apart instead of building them up.
Some models suggest that the Kuiper belt was once more crowded than it is now and had more-frequent impacts, but those crashes would not have been powerful enough to strip much material from 2003 EL61, he says.
However, Herschel's observations of Hartley 2, the first in-depth look at water in a comet from the Kuiper Belt, paint a different picture.
Our new simulations also allow us to see how dust from the Kuiper Belt might have looked when the solar system was much younger," said Christopher Stark, who worked with Kuchner at NASA Goddard and is now at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.
Using computer simulations, the researchers determined that many binary systems in part of the Belt would have been destroyed by the jostling they would have experienced if Neptune did indeed move the Kuiper Belt to its current location.
Christopher Stark of Carnegie Institution for Science said: "Our new simulations also allow us to see how dust from the Kuiper Belt might have looked when the solar system was much younger.
The spacecraft will study and swing past Jupiter, increasing speed on its voyage toward Pluto, the Kuiper Belt and beyond.
The Kuiper belt extends outward from the orbit of Pluto to about 70 times the Earth-sun distance, which defines an astronomical unit (AU).
Such a path could jostle objects in the Oort cloud, the Kuiper belt - a swarm of icy objects beyond Neptune's orbit - as well as others that orbit in a disc between the two regions.
Brown next plans to use Hubble and other telescopes to study other recently discovered Kuiper Belt objects that are almost as large as Pluto and Xena.
About 20 percent of the objects in the Kuiper belt, a reservoir of cometlike objects even farther from the sun than Pluto is, have single partners.
New Horizons is the first spacecraft to explore Pluto, its moons and the icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt.