What's the Difference Between an Asteroid and a Kuiper Belt Object?
Two NASA scientists discuss the difference -- and similarities -- between asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects, our solar system's most dissent bodies.
On Dec. 3, 2018, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission will arrive at Asteroid Bennu where it will spend two years surveying this relic from our solar system's beginnings before ultimately collecting a sample and returning it to Earth. Keep up with OSIRIS-REx at: https://www.nasa.gov/osiris-rex
On New Year's Day 2019, NASA's New Horizons mission will visit Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule, the most distant object ever explored by humankind. Keep up with New Horizons at: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html
New Horizon's Next Target - First Image of Ultima Thule
The New Horizons spacecraft detected Ultima Thule, the Kuiper belt object (486958) 2014 MU69 for the first time from a distance of 172 million kilometers. It will fly by Ultima on New Year's Day, 2019.
#UltimaThule #TubeRitual #NoSmallCreator
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In Less Than One Year, NASA Spacecraft Will Fly By The ‘Most Distant Object Ever Explored’
Just after midnight on January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly by “the most primitive and most distant object ever explored.”
10 Places in the Solar System Where Alien Life is Possible
An exploration of the other bodies in the solar system other than earth that might be habitable for some forms of alien life.
Light Awash by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
This Space Suburb Could Hold Secrets About the Origin of the Solar System
There’s a rocky superhighway in the outskirts of our solar system, and it might be home to the ominous Planet 9.
Everything You Need To Know About the Earth's Terminator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpREvI5atzU&t=34s
Planet Nine May Be the Best Explanation for ‘Weirdness’ of Kuiper Belt Objects
“Planet Nine's presence could explain why some Kuiper Belt objects orbit in the opposite direction from everything else in the solar system.”
What Can Giant Telescopes Reveal About Our Universe?
“The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018.”
Billions of Stars and Galaxies to Be Discovered in the Largest Cosmic Map Ever
“The Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii spent four years scanning the skies to produce two petabytes of publicly-available data. Now it's up to us to study it.”
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Life Beyond Neptune: The Kuiper Belt & Scattered Disc
The solar system is enormous, and includes the Kuiper Belt and the Scattered Disc, both of which turn out to be really weird in some pretty awesome ways.
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Why There Are Over 200 Planets in the Solar System
If we consider dwarf planets as planets, than there are over 200 planets right now in the Solar System.
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Intro and outro footage made with Space Engine.
Music: At the Foot of the Sphinx by Twin Musicom twinmusicom.org
NASA Asks Public for Help Naming New Horizons' Most Distant Flyby Target
On Nov. 6, NASA announced a naming campaign for the target of the New Horizons spacecraft's next flyby mission: a distant rocky object in the Kuiper Belt at the edge of our solar system.
Where is the Edge of the Solar System?
Where does the solar system end? It all depends on the criteria you are using. Based on where the planets end, you could say it's Neptune and the Kuiper Belt. If you measure by edge of the sun's magnetic fields, the end is the heliosphere. If you judge by the stopping point of sun's gravitational influence, the solar system would end at the Oort Cloud.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Genna Duberstein
Music credit: Dream Girl 3 by Yuri Sazonoff
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The Kuiper Belt Song | Kuiper Belt for Kids | Kuiper Belt Facts | Silly School Songs
Kids will learn all kinds of fun facts about the Kuiper Belt with this upbeat, jazzy/bluesy tune. Hope you enjoy it! For more info and music, visit http://sillyschoolsongs.com
The Kuiper Belt is a ring of icy objects in space (A whole bunch of rocks and ice!)
It's not a belt that you can wear around your waist (It doesn't even have a buckle!)
It's in the outer solar system, and it has a doughnut shape (Too bad there's no jelly!)
The Kuiper Belt is 4 billion miles from the Sun (That's a loooong way away!)
Scientists still don't know how it was formed (All they can do is guess!)
It's that icy cold place that all the plutinos call home (Including Pluto, it's the largest, baby!)
New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt (It's all about that flyby)
It's the place where Pluto Haumea and Makemake dwell (We call 'em the dwarf planets!)
More than 100,000 KBOs are hanging out there (FYI, that stands for Kuiper Belt Objects!)
Gerard Kuiper is the astronomer for which it was named (Kenneth Edgeworth helped out too)
Fragments of rock and ice are what it contains (Not a whole lot going on out there)
The main ingredients are ammonia, water and methane (Keyboard solo time!)
Take it away, Cowboy Lance!
Copyright 2017 Silly School Songs. All Rights Reserved.
Wink of a Star
NASA’s New Horizons team trained mobile telescopes on an unnamed star (circled) from a remote area of Argentina on July 17, 2017. A Kuiper Belt object 4.1 billion miles from Earth -- known as 2014 MU69 -- briefly blocked the light from the background star, in what’s known as an occultation. The time difference between frames is 200 milliseconds, or 0.2 seconds. This data will help scientists better measure the shape, size and environment around the object. The New Horizons spacecraft will fly by this ancient relic of solar system formation on Jan. 1, 2019. It will be the most distant object ever explored by a spacecraft.
A Tenth Planet Could Be Warping Our Outer Solar System
Scientists have just found warping in the Kuiper Belt that suggests there might be a tenth planet.
How The Mysterious Planet 9 Is Tilting Our Solar System - https://youtu.be/Yo0Bz-8ZeR8
Proof We Landed on the Moon is in the Topography - https://youtu.be/fSDeIjSzTzA
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UA Scientists and the Curious Case of the Warped Kuiper Belt
"The plane of the solar system is warped in the outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt, signaling the presence of an unknown Mars-to-Earth-mass planetary object far beyond Pluto, according to new research from the UA."
'Planet Nine' Could Be an Alien Intruder
"There are few solar system mysteries quite as compelling as 'Planet Nine.' The hypothetical world, thought to be orbiting at an extreme distance from the sun, has some observational evidence that supports its existence. But as it is so far away and therefore so dim, it's not very easy to actually directly observe it."
NASA's Kepler Telescope Has Identified 10 New Earth-Like Exoplanets
"NASA revealed Monday 10 new rocky Earth-sized planets that could potentially have liquid water and support life. The Kepler mission team released a survey of 219 potential exoplanets - planets outside of our solar system - that had been detected by the space observatory launched in 2009 to scan the Milky Way galaxy."
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The Many Mysteries Of Pluto Explained
Pluto (minor-planet designation: 134340 Pluto) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune.
Debris disks are dusty disks around middle-aged stars, believed to be analogous to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own Solar System. The dust in these systems absorbs and scatters star light, with the absorbed light heating up the dust. Space-based infrared observatories are the best tools with which to not only discover, but also characterize these planetary systems. These studies probe the nature and diversity of extrasolar systems, and help place our own into proper context. Is our Solar System common or rare?
What’s Next for NASA’s New Horizons?
New Horizons’ Pluto flyby might be in the past but the mission is far from over. This is Pluto in a Minute.
Of course, Pluto was New Horizons’ primary target, but the mission was never intended to explore only one body in the outer solar system. In fact, the mission was designed to explore not just the Pluto-Charon system, but Pluto-Charon as well as multiple Kuiper Belt Objects.
This is according to the 2003 decadal survey that called for a Pluto-Kuiper Belt explorer mission. This was a mission intended to explore the Pluto-Charon system and, to quote, “continue on to do reconnaissance of several additional Kuiper Belt Objects.”
So New Horizons always had a Kuiper Belt object as its secondary target. Last summer when New Horizons flew by Pluto there were two options for the future Kuiper Belt flyby and now the team has selected their target.
The target the New Horizons team has settled on is called 2014 MU 69, and it was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2014. The target is a really exciting one because the team suspects that it is made of the same building blocks that have formed all the Kuiper Belt planets and that includes Pluto. Now it must be said that this extended mission is pending approval by NASA. The New Horizons team will have to submit a formal proposal to the space agency later this year.
But New Horizons still has a long way to go. The spacecraft will fly by its Kuiper Belt object on January 1 of 2019, which means you’ve got plenty of time to start planning that Kuiper Belt Object themed New Year’s party for 2018.
Colonizing the Solar System, part 2: the Outer Solar System
This episode continues our team up with Fraser Cain to look at Colonizing the Solar System, we move from the inner solar system to the Asteroid Belt and beyond, all the way out to the Oort Cloud.
Part 1: The Inner Solar System, can be watched here:
Article: "COULD WE TERRAFORM JUPITER?"
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New Horizons Gets 'Close' Glimpse at Kuiper Belt Object
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft last month got the closest ever glimpse of a Kuiper Belt Object from just 69 million miles away
Exploring Neptune's Captured Kuiper Belt Object
In the summer of 1989 Earthlings got their first view of Neptune and its formidable moon Triton.
Fast forward 25 years and scientists are working on technologies to not only visit this icy moon but ‘hop' around on its surface too.
NASA 360 joins Geoffrey A. Landis and Steven Oleson, both of NASA Glenn Research Center, as they discuss their concept for a hopper vehicle to explore Triton.
This video was developed from a live recording at the 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium in October, 2015. To watch the full original talk please visit: http://bit.ly/1WUwMAD
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This video represents a research study within the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. NIAC is a visionary and far-reaching aerospace program, one that has the potential to create breakthrough technologies for possible future space missions. However, such early stage technology development may never become actual NASA missions. For more information about NIAC, visit: www.nasa.gov/niac.
We Haven't Discovered Planet X... But We Have Some Really Interesting Clues
Despite the headline's we've not found anything definitive, at most it's a dynamical footprint in a group of Edgeworth-Kuiper belt objects.
Where does the solar system end? A video about the Oort Cloud - Space Place in a Snap
Space Place… in a snap!
Where does the solar system end?
The solar system we call home has our sun, eight planets, all their moons, the asteroid belt, and lots of comets. Outside Neptune's orbit is the Kuiper Belt. An almost empty ring around the sun that has icy bodies, almost all smaller than Pluto, making slow orbits around the sun. But what’s beyond the Kuiper belt? Beyond the fringes of the Kuiper belt is the Oort Cloud. Unlike the orbits of the planets and the Kuiper Belt, which are pretty flat like a disk, It's a giant spherical shell surrounding the sun, planets, and Kuiper Belt Objects. Like a big bubble with thick walls around our solar system. It’s made of icy pieces of space debris the sizes of mountains and sometimes larger. This is where some comets come from. The voyager 1 spacecraft took 35 years to leave the sun's magnetic influence. It’s travelling one million miles each day. At that speed, it will take 300 years to reach the inner layer of the Oort Cloud. And then it will take 30,000 to get through it all. It’s that thick. Find out more about our solar system and what lies beyond it at NASA Space Place!
How to Pronounce Kuiper Belt
Learn to say Kuiper Belt with Emma Saying free pronunciation tutorials
The Exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt by NASA's New Horizons Mission
The Exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt by NASA's New Horizons Mission
Hal Weaver, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
NASA's New Horizons mission is conducting the first in situ exploration of the Kuiper Belt, the recently discovered outer zone of our Solar System. The New Horizons spacecraft flew just 7800 miles above Pluto's surface on 2015 July 14 capturing thousands of images and spectra of this magnificent "mini solar system" comprised of the binary dwarf planets Pluto and Charon and the small moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. With these new data, Pluto has been transformed from a pixelated blob (as seen from Earth) into a spectacularly complex and diverse world with water-ice mountains as high as the Rockies on Earth and exotic nitrogen-ice sheets with glacier-like flows. Charon has huge chasms bigger than the Earth's Grand Canyon and a giant hood of dark material covering its north pole. New Horizons has resolved Nix and Hydra for the first time, showing them to be highly elongated objects, covered in water ice, and with crater-like surface features. The New Horizons spacecraft is now more than 46 million miles from Pluto, heading deeper into the Kuiper Belt and potentially a close flyby of another Kuiper Belt object, if NASA approves its extended mission phase.
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Recorded live on October 6, 2015 at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD
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New Horizons: Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 possible next destination for NASA mission - TomoNews
WASHINGTON — NASA has selected a potential destination for the New Horizons mission following its historic flyby of Pluto.
The next destination for NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is a comet-like object in the Kuiper Belt known as 2014 MU69, which is about a billion miles away from Pluto, according to a statement posted on the New Horizons mission website. The object measures about 45 km across, which is more than 10 times larger than typical comets.
"2014 MU69 is a great choice because it is just the kind of ancient KBO, formed where it orbits now, that the Decadal Survey desired us to fly by," New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern said in the statement.
New Horizons has enough extra hydrazine fuel for a flyby to a Kuiper Belt object. Its communications system can also work from far beyond Pluto. If the plan is approved, the spacecraft would be expected to reach 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.
The proposed mission will be evaluated independently before receiving official approval.
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Finding Proof of the Kuiper Belt
Visitation of comets from the far reaches of the solar system suggested the existence of the Kuiper Belt. However, the relatively small size of the bodies theorized to exist beyond the planets made finding one an unbelievably difficult challenge. Finally, in 1992, astronomers located a slow moving object further out than any observed in our solar system. | http://science.discovery.com/tv-shows/how-the-universe-works/
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Planet Pluto - King of the Kuiper Belt
Nigel Goes to Space
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New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
Future Virgin Galactic Astronaut Nigel Henbest talks about the astonishing “New Horizons” mission to the edge of our solar system, an interplanetary space probe that was launched as part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Nigel is an internationally acclaimed science populariser and author, specialising in astronomy and space.
He discusses Plutonian geography and geology as revealed in the fascinating images sent back from the spacecraft’s flyby of Pluto and its intriguing moon Charon. Pluto is an ice dwarf located in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune. In 2006 it was reclassified by the International Astronomical Union as a dwarf planet, specifically a plutoid.
Also mentioned are the Perseids, a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The peak of the next spectacular shower expected on 12th August 2015.
Credits: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute
Pluto, the Kuiper belt and the early history of the solar system - Renu Malhotra (SETI Talks)
Our understanding of the formation of the solar system has undergone a revolution in recent years, owing to new theoretical insights into the origin of Pluto and the discovery of the Kuiper belt and its complex dynamical structure. The emerging picture is one of dramatic orbital migration of the planets in the early history of the solar system, driven by interaction with the primordial Kuiper belt, which produced the final solar system architecture that we live in today. The evidence is all over the solar system, as close as the Moon and as far away as Pluto and the remnant Kuiper belt. Dr. Malhotra will review this new view of our solar system's history, describe the astronomical evidence, and critically assess current theoretical models.
The Oort Cloud: Crash Course Astronomy #22
Now that we’re done with the planets, asteroid belt, and comets, we’re heading to the outskirts of the solar system. Out past Neptune are vast reservoirs of icy bodies that can become comets if they get poked into the inner solar system. The Kuiper Belt is a donut shape aligned with the plane of the solar system; the scattered disk is more eccentric and is the source of short period comets; and the Oort Cloud which surrounds the solar system out to great distances is the source of long-period comets. These bodies all probably formed closer into the Sun, and got flung out to the solar system’s suburbs by gravitational interactions with the outer planets.
Table of Contents
Icy Bodies That Can Become Comets 0:27
The Kuiper Belt is a Donut Shape Aligned With the Plane of the Solar System 2:57
The Scattered Disk is More Eccentric and the Source of Short Period Comets 4:26
Oort Cloud Surrounds Our Solar System and is the Source of Long-Period Comets 4:04
These Bodies Probably Formed Near the Sun and Dispersed Through Gravitational Interactions 5:41
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HD Long Exposure Star Timelapse https://vimeo.com/34172172 [credit: Jeffrey Beach, Beachfront B-Roll]
Fine Structure in the Comet’s Jets http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/01/16/fine-structure-in-the-comets-jets/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protoplanetary_disk#mediaviewer/File:Artist%E2%80%99s_Impression_of_a_Baby_Star_Still_Surrounded_by_a_Protoplanetary_Disc.jpg [credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA]
Artist's impression of a protoplanetary disk. [credit: ESO/L. Calçada - ESO]
Creating Gas Giants http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11541 [credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center]
What is a Sungrazing Comet? http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11307 [credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center]
Pluto/Neptune Orbit http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/files/images/browse/plutoneptune.gif [credit: NASA]
1992 QB1 http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/gallery/1992_QB14.jpg [credit: ESO]
Eris http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap060918.html [credit: W. M. Keck Observatory]
Moons of Pluto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerberos_(moon)#/media/File:Moons_of_Pluto.png [credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI institute)]
New Horizons Approach http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/common/content/animations/New-Horizons-Voyage-to-Pluto/ApproachingPluto1280.mp4 [credit: JHUAPL]
Moon http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003800/a003894/phase04_full.jpg [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio]
Pluto http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?Category=Planets&IM_ID=20073 [credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute]
Sedna’s Orbit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sedna-PIA05569-crop.jpg [credit: NASA]
Artist’s Conception of Kuiper Belt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:14-281-KuiperBeltObject-ArtistsConcept-20141015.jpg [credit: NASA, Wikimedia Commons]
Kuiper Belt World (video) http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/video/41 [credit: NASA Kepler Mission/Dana Berry]
Pluto Discovery Plates http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/loaselect/id/25/rec/1 [credit: Clyde Tombaugh, Lowell Observatory]
The Year of Pluto - New Horizons Documentary Brings Humanity Closer to the Edge of the Solar System
New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and mysterious small objects orbiting beyond Neptune. This region also is known as the “third” zone of our solar system, beyond the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Maryland, designed, built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Year of Pluto - NASA New Horizons is a one hour documentary which takes on the hard science and gives us answers to how the mission came about and why it matters. Interviews with Dr. James Green, John Spencer, Fran Bagenal, Mark Showalter and others share how New Horizons will answer many questions. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
"Kuiper Belt Objects and Io, Europa & Triton" - Full Dcocumentary
New Horizons: On The Threshold of the Pluto System
The Denver Astronomical Society (DAS) promotes the enjoyment and understanding of astronomical phenomena, history and lore by providing educational and observing opportunities for our members, education to the general public, and outreach activities at the University of Denver's Historic Chamberlin Observatory, schools, and nature centers.
On April 11th, 2014, the Denver Astronomical Society presented Dr. John Spencer, Science Team Member of the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
Dr. John Spencer is an Institute Scientist at Southwest Research Institute's Department of Space Studies in Boulder, specializing in studies of icy satellites using theoretical models, Earth-based telescopes, spacecraft observations, and the Hubble Space Telescope. After earning his Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences (University of Arizona, 1987), he spent four years in postdoctoral positions at the University of Hawaii before joining the staff of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff in 1991, then came to SWRI in January 2004. He has also published research on Mars, asteroids, Pluto, and Triton, and will speak to us on his work for the New Horizons mission in coordinating the search for KBO ﬂyby targets. Dr. Spencer was responsible for temperature mapping of Jupiter's moons with the Galileo spacecraft's Photopolarimeter-Radiometer (PPR) instrument, and is now mapping temperatures on Saturn's moons using Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS). He is particularly interested in the volcanos and atmosphere of Io and ice eruptions of Enceladus. He also co-led the science team for NASA's 2007 study of a possible Flagship mission to Enceladus, the 2008 - 2009 studies of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter mission, and the Satellites panel of the 2009-2011 Planetary Decadal Survey.
Dr. Spencer's observations have discovered major volcanic eruptions on Io with HST and sulfur gas in Io's plumes, and co-discovered ice volcanic activity on Enceladus, the "Pac Man" thermal anomalies on Mimas and Tethys, oxygen on Ganymede, and that Io's atmosphere is highly asymmetrical. His theoretical work focuses on the extreme albedo dichotomy of Iapetus, nitrogen frost on Pluto and Triton, water frost on Jupiter's moons, and heat radiation from asteroids.
The meeting will start with a short business meeting. As usual, there will be a reception at DU's Historical Chamberlin Observatory with refreshments after the meeting, to which all participants are invited.
And don't forget to check out the Denver Astronomical Society here.
What Is The Kuiper Belt?
After years of searching, Clyde Tombaugh discovered tiny Pluto on February 18th, 1930, Little did he realize this was just one icy object in a vast belt of material known as the Kuiper Belt.
Mike Brown explains, "The Kuiper Belt is a collection of bodies outside the orbit of Neptune that, if nothing else had happened, if Neptune hadn't formed or if things had gone a little bit better, maybe they could have gotten together themselves and formed the next planet out beyond Neptune. But instead, in the history of the solar system, when Neptune formed it led to these objects not being able to get together, so it's just this belt of material out beyond Neptune."
After Tombaugh's discovery, other astronomers guessed that Pluto wasn't alone and there would be more planets to discover in the outer Solar System. But nothing turned up for decades.
Back in 1951, the Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper proposed that out beyond Neptune, material was spaced too far apart to form into a single large planet. Instead, he predicted that there would only be a small collection of icy objects. Occasionally one of these objects would wander into the inner Solar System and become a comet.
The idea of this "Kuiper Belt" made sense to astronomers, and it helped explain why there were no large planets further out in the Solar System.
It also conveniently wrapped up another mystery of the Solar System: where do comets come from? Astronomers assumed these objects were out there, but they had no evidence of anything other than Pluto. A few icy objects were found between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, but nothing out past Neptune.
After searching the region for five years, and using the latest in telescope technology, astronomers David Jewitt and Jane Luu finally confirmed the existence of the Kuiper Belt in 1992.
They found a tiny object, a fraction of the size of Pluto, and the techniques they used unlocked an icy land rush. Six months later, the next object was found. And many more came after that.
Fortunately for us, Kuiper was wrong, and the belt hadn't been cleared out billions of years ago.
It's still a busy place. There have been more than a thousand objects discovered, and it's theorized that there are as many as 100,000 objects larger than 100 km in diameter.
One part Kuiper was definitely right about is that these objects won't last forever.
Mike Brown continues, "We call it a belt, but it's a very wide belt. It's something like 45 degrees in extent across the sky - this big swath of material that's just been churned and churned by Neptune. And these days, instead of making a bigger and bigger body, they're just colliding and slowly grinding down into dust. If we come back in another hundred million years, there'll be no Kuiper Belt left."
Keeping Pluto company out in the Kuiper belt, are many other objects worthy of mention: Quaoar, Makemake, Haumea, Orcus and Eris are all large icy bodies in the Belt. Several of them even have moons of their own. These are all tremendously far away, and yet, very much within reach.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will reach this region in 2015, and capture the first ever close up pictures of a Kuiper Belt object, images of the surface of Pluto.
Even more exciting for ancient ice-rock enthusiasts, it looks like our Solar System isn't unique. There have been icy debris belts - other Kuiper Belts - discovered around nine other star systems. There are narrow ones, like our own Solar System, and then wider belts extending much further out. Infrared surveys suggest that at many as 20% of star systems have one of their own.
Vast and unexplored, the Kuiper belt is the source of many comets, and contains ancient ice that was formed at the beginning of the Solar System. Let's hope New Horizons is just the beginning of future decades of research into this mysterious region.
The Kuiper Belt and its implications
Kavli Prize Laureate lecture in collaboration with the Kavli Foundation. The early solar system was not always the orderly place it is now. Professor Jane Luu explores the Kuiper Belt, a swarm of icy bodies left over from the formation of the planets, and its implications for our solar system.
Filmed at 6:00 pm -- 7:00 pm on Wednesday 20 November 2013 at The Royal Society, London. http://royalsociety.org/events/2013/kuiper-belt/
Dr. Alan Stern: "New Horizons to Planet Pluto: Exploring the Frontier of Our Solar System"
New Horizons to Planet Pluto: Exploring the Frontier of Our Solar System
Dr. Alan Stern, head of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, tells the story behind the historic exploration of the "ninth planet" and the team guiding a small spacecraft on a voyage to the planetary frontier. Dr. Stern's talk was delivered during the Pluto Science Conference at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's Kossiakoff Center on July 23, 2013.
New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program of medium-class spacecraft exploration projects. Dr. Stern leads the mission and science team as principal investigator. APL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate and is operating the spacecraft in flight. The mission team also includes a number of other firms, NASA centers, and university partners.
Learn more about the New Horizons mission at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu
Documentary - PASSPORT TO PLUTO - New Horizons
Documentary - PASSPORT TO PLUTO - New Horizons
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson: Pluto's Place in the Universe
The Kuiper Belt - Scanning The Skies: The Discovery Telescope
One of the first projects for the Discovery telescope is to study the Kuiper Belt, a region outside of the planets of the Solar System.
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New Horizons Mission: Kuiper Belt Fly-Through
Fly with the New Horizons spacecraft as it cruises by dozens of newly-discovered Kuiper Belt objects, found by our survey team (gray points) as well as by members of the public through Ice Hunters (purple points). See below for details.
Animation concept and rendering by Alex Harrison Parker, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
=== Mission to Pluto and Beyond: The search for a Kuiper Belt target ===
On July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will become the first mission to visit the distant dwarf planet Pluto and its retinue of five moons, flying by at speeds over 50 times faster than a jet airliner.
With its onboard reserve of fuel, it is capable of performing a small course correction after this Pluto encounter, with the aim of visiting another small, frozen world deep in the Kuiper Belt. At present, however, there are no known Kuiper Belt objects which New Horizons can reach with its remaining fuel.
A team of scientists from across the world are making a concerted effort to identify this prime Kuiper Belt encounter target. Using some of the worlds largest telescopes, we are searching the area of sky where such an encounter target would be today. This area of sky is extremely difficult to search for faint Kuiper Belt objects, owing to the fact that it lies in the direction of the core of our Galaxy where the number of background stars is extremely high. Our team has developed a suite of advanced algorithms for searching this data, however, and we have discovered a host of new Kuiper Belt objects which will fly near the spacecraft - though none yet fit the perfect "encounter target" criteria.
=== Animation Details ===
This animation shows the flight of the New Horizons spacecraft from 2010 to 2023 through this cloud of new Kuiper Belt objects.
The yellow triangle indicates the position of the New Horizons spacecraft. The large cyan point marks Pluto. Small gray points are new Kuiper Belt objects discovered by the automated routines in the 2011-2012 observing seasons, while purple points are new Kuiper Belt objects discovered in 2004-2005 observing season data by members of the public through the "IceHunters" citizen science effort.
The left panels show a top-down and side-on view of the spacecraft trajectory and the Kuiper Belt objects. Distance scales from the Sun are illustrated with gray lines, and the pericentric and apocentric distances of Uranus and Neptune are marked with dashed white lines.
The right panel shows the Kuiper Belt objects from the perspective of the New Horizons spacecraft, looking directly outward from the Sun. Point size scales with distance, but the sizes are not to scale (almost all of the Kuiper Belt objects so far detected will be unresolved by the instruments onboard the spacecraft). For any Kuiper Belt object which passes within 2 AU of the spacecraft, the range in AU is marked.
A "flyby" sound is generated by the distance and flyby geometry of each object. Since there is no sound in space, this sound is there purely to enhance the impression of motion through the Kuiper Belt.
The orbital motion of the Kuiper Belt objects is extrapolated from the best-fit orbit solutions to the data we have currently obtained. For many objects these orbit solutions remain relatively uncertain, so the exact flyby geometry may change as we acquire new and better data.
Two long-range flybys occur before the Pluto encounter, one late 2013 and one in early 2015.
The "cluster" of flybys that begins in June of 2018 is due to the onset of the "cold classical Kuiper Belt," a region of space densely populated by Kuiper Belt objects.
The hunt for an encounter target continues, and future versions of this animation will be updated as new Kuiper Belt objects are discovered.
=== Links ===
More information on the New Horizons mission:
Follow New Horizons on Twitter:
Follow Alex Parker on Twitter:
=== Video Credits ===
Alex Harrison Parker - New Horizons Outer Solar System Science Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The 2011-2012 New Horizons Kuiper Belt Object search team & contributors:
(alphabetical by first name)
Alan Stern, Brian Mcleod, Cesar Fuentes, Darin Ragozzine, David Borncamp, David Osip, David Tholen, David Trilling, Francesca DeMeo, Jean-Marc Petit, JJ Kavelaars, John Spencer, Larry Wasserman, Marc Buie, Matthew Holman, Rick Binzel, Scott Sheppard, Sebastian Fabbro, Stephen Gwyn, and Susan Benecchi.
The IceHunters organized by Pamela Gay, and a list of contributors to the 2004-2005 discoveries can be found here: minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K12/K12FA9.html
Kuiper Belt & The Tenth Planet Discovery
Mike Brown, The Discoverer of the Tenth Planet Eris, talks about the Kuiper Belt. "This is a video recording of the Sept. 15, 2011, lecture by Caltech astronomer Mike Brown. This public lecture was held at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, on the Big Island of Hawaii. In this talk he explains not only how Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, but his controversial role in "killing" Pluto. He is introduced by Taft Armandroff, director of the W. M. Keck Observatory.": http://www.keckobservatory.org/news/how_i_killed_pluto_why_it_had_it_coming_the_video
Mike Brown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Brown
Similar Mike Brown Lecture from 2007: http://dev.forum-network.org/lecture/pluto-and-outer-solar-system
NASA 2005 - Tenth Planet Discovered: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2005/29jul_planetx/
Astronomers Discover "10th Planet": http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/3310526.html?page=1&c=y
Planets beyond Neptune: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets_beyond_Neptune
Hubble Detects Long-Sought Comet Population Beyond Neptune: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/1995/95-88.txt
Hubble Spots Icy World Far Beyond Pluto: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2002/02-190.txt
Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object Ever Seen: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/hst_img_kuiper-smallest.html
Kuiper Belt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuiper_Belt
Can WISE Find the Hypothetical 'Tyche'?: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-060
WISE Finds Few Brown Dwarfs Close to Home: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-164
Dwarf Planets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_planet
New Planet Found in Our Solar System????: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/05/120511-new-planet-solar-system-kuiper-belt-space-science/
2006 Gomes' Article Gomes presented to the AAS Conference in 2012 that is being sold as 'New' work: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~jjm9638/acm2005/YICAR7974.pdf
AAS May 2012 Abstract Schedule Listing Gomes' 2006 Paper on page 7: http://dda.harvard.edu/meetings/2012/DDA2012Abstracts.pdf
Planet X - No Dynamical Evidence in the Optical Observations, Mentions the 1st Kuiper Belt Object ~ Standish, E. M.: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1993AJ....105.2000S
Dec/2011 Dr. Lorenzo Iorio paper stating a Mars-Sized body would have to be at least 150 to 200 AU away, "We analytically work out the long-term variations caused on the motion of a planet orbiting a star by a very distant, pointlike massive object X. Apart from the semi-major axis a, all the other Keplerian osculating orbital elements experience long-term variations which are complicated functions of the orbital configurations of both the planet itself and of X...": http://arxiv.org/pdf/1101.2634v6.pdf
Cosmic Obsession Observatory Interviewing Dr. Neil Tyson on Neptune Perturbations: http://www.americanfreedomradio.com/archive/Stranger-Advice-32k-022912.mp3
2012 Paper Defining Spectral Type "Y" Brown Dwarfs Showing Their VISIBLE "H" Magnitudes & Distances: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.2122v1.pdf
2011 Article Describing the Coolest Brown Dwarfs discovered by WISE at 9 to 40 Light Years Away stating they Reflect Light when Light is available: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/multimedia/pia14720.html
Discovered - Stars as Cool as the Human Body: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/23aug_coldeststars/
Star Bright..and The Sub-Brown Dwarfs, "Planets and older brown dwarfs in planetary systems don't shine, but they do Reflect Light from the Central Star: http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/546/star-bright-part-i
List of Nearest Dwarf Stars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closest_stars
Comet Hale--Bopp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hale-Bopp
Planets, Exoplanets & Kuiper Belt; Animation of Nice Theory, Time 17:00: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWE34Ce-aiM
Formation of the Solar System Part 3
Pluto, Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud and how they tie in to the Solar System
Observing Run to the MMT: Kuiper Belt Objects
Documents ongoing research by NAU astronomer Dr. Stephen Tegler, with a focus on discovering and recording objects in the region of our solar system known as the Kuiper Belt.
Produced by IDEA Lab at Northern Arizona University.
Producer/Director: Dan Boone and Bill Ferris.
Assistant: Ryan Belnap.
The Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud
A planetary system there could be as many as planetary system discovered a planetary system containing at least some planets in the mass range prompted a fine tuning of the definition Kuiper Belt Objects are suggested that comet-like debris also known as the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt an area of the solar system one of the larger Kuiper belt objects Quaoar direct relationship to the mass smaller than Ceres
Dust ground off icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt, the cold-storage zone that includes Pluto and millions of other objects, creates a faint infrared disk potentially visible to alien astronomers looking for planets around the sun. Neptune's gravitational imprint on the dust is always detectable in new simulations of how this dust moves through the solar system. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history.
Trans Neptunian Objects
Trans Neptunian Objects or Kuiper Belt object as it called
welcome to the third zone in the solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune and towards the Kuiper belt there are thousands of big objects, almost like another asteroid belts but larger ones that they could be called dwarf planet.
Even planet Pluto is considered to be one of these objects, as unfortunately its not recginised as a planet .