Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

The Kuiper belt is a circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. It is similar to the asteroid belt, but is far larger – 20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive. Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly of small bodies or remnants from when the Solar System formed.

The Oort cloud, sometimes called the Öpik-Oort cloud is a theoretical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals believed to surround the Sun to as far as somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 AU (0.8 and 3.2 light years). It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorized its existence. 1 AU (Astronomical Unit) is the distance between Earth and Sun, which is now defined as exactly 149,597,870,700 meters (about 150 million kilometers, or 93 million miles).

Image: Wikimedia

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