What is the Kuiper Belt?

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What is the Kuiper Belt? Blog Image

Overview:

Astronomers have recently found compelling evidence suggesting the existence of an Earth-like planet in the distant Kuiper Belt of our solar system.

About Kuiper Belt

  • Kuiper belt, also called the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, is a flat ring of small icy bodies that revolve around the Sun beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune. 
  • It is named after Gerard Kuiper, a Dutch-American astronomer who hypothesized the existence of such a region in the 1950s.
  • There are millions of these icy objects, collectively referred to as Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) or trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), in this belt.
  • The Kuiper Belt is a region of leftovers from the solar system's early history.
  • It is thought to be the source of most of the observed short-period comets, particularly those that orbit the Sun in less than 20 years.
  • Composition: The Kuiper Belt is primarily composed of small icy bodies, such as dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets.
  • Pluto:
    • Pluto, once considered the ninth planet in our solar system, is one of the most well-known Kuiper Belt objects.
    • In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet, partly because of its location within the Kuiper Belt.

 


Q1) What is a Comet?

Comets are large objects made of dust and ice that orbit the Sun. Best known for their long, streaming tails, these ancient objects are leftovers from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Source: Unbelievable! Scientists uncover evidence of Earth-like planet in our solar system's Kuiper Belt