Oort cloud

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Oort cloud

 (ôrt)
n.
A swarm of comets orbiting the sun at a distance of one to two light years, proposed as a source of comets that pass near the sun.

[After Jan Hendrix Oort (1900-1992), Dutch astronomer.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Oort cloud

(ôrt, ōrt)
A sphere-shaped mass of comets that makes up the outer edge of the solar system, surrounding the Kuiper belt and the planets. The more than 100 billion comets in this region orbit the sun at a distance of one to two light-years. Comets from this area that come into the inner solar system take more than 200 years to make one complete orbit. Compare Kuiper belt.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Oort cloud - (astronomy) a hypothetical huge collection of comets orbiting the sun far beyond the orbit of Pluto; perturbations (as by other stars) can upset a comet's orbit and may send it tumbling toward the sun
astronomy, uranology - the branch of physics that studies celestial bodies and the universe as a whole
aggregation, collection, accumulation, assemblage - several things grouped together or considered as a whole
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
Thousands -- even a million -- more such objects could be way out there orbiting in the so-called Inner Oort Cloud, according to the researchers.
He found that it sits at the border between a star that has a negligible effect and one that can stir up the inner Oort Cloud enough to send comets our way."
This is likely one of thousands of distant objects that are thought to form the so-called inner Oort cloud. What's more, their work indicates the potential presence of an enormous planet, perhaps up to 10 times the size of Earth, not yet seen, but possibly influencing the orbit of 2012 VP113, as well as other inner Oort cloud objects.
With the discovery of 2012 VP113 it is now clear Sedna is not unique and is likely the second known member of the hypothesized inner Oort cloud, the likely origin of some comets.
Its distance from the Sun varies between 76 AU and 975 AU, so it is best described as an inner Oort Cloud object.