Kuiper belt


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Kui·per belt

 (kī′pər)
n.
A disk-shaped region in the outer solar system lying beyond the orbit of Neptune and extending to a distance of about 50 astronomical units, containing thousands of small icy bodies, some of which are on highly elliptical orbits, periodically visiting the inner solar system as comets.

[After Gerard Kuiper (1905-1973), Dutch-born American astronomer who speculated about the existence of such a region.]

Kuiper belt

(ˈkaɪpə)
n
(Astronomy) a region of the solar system beyond the orbit of Neptune, some 30–1000 astronomical units from the sun, containing up to one thousand million icy planetesimals or comet nuclei. See also Oort
[C20: named after G. P. Kuiper (1905–73), Dutch American astronomer, who proposed it in 1951]

Kui·per belt

(kī′pər)
A disk-shaped region in the outer solar system, containing thousands of small, icy celestial bodies. Comets that make one complete orbit of the sun in less than 200 years come from this area. The Kuiper belt lies beyond the orbit of Neptune and includes Pluto, which was traditionally classed with the planets. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared Pluto to be a dwarf planet that resides in the Kuiper Belt. Compare Oort cloud.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Kuiper belt - a disk-shaped region of minor planets outside the orbit of Neptune
region, part - the extended spatial location of something; "the farming regions of France"; "religions in all parts of the world"; "regions of outer space"
solar system - the sun with the celestial bodies that revolve around it in its gravitational field
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, New Horizons will also be exploring 30 other Kuiper Belt objects from much greater distances through 2021.
Kuiper Belt objects showcase the remnants of the ancient planet-building age of the universe.
New Horizons location in the Kuiper Belt gives the spacecraft a uniquely oblique view of the small planets like Quaoar orbiting so far from the sun.
The Kuiper Belt is a vast reservoir of leftover frozen material from the construction of our solar system 4.
The spacecraft's first stop in the Kuiper belt was Pluto.
Brown and a Caltech colleague, Konstantin Batygin, studied the orbits of half a dozen Kuiper Belt objects and noted that they fall into a similar pattern - a pattern whose most likely explanation is the influence of a planet about twice the size of Earth, with an elliptical orbit ranging from 20 billion to 100 billion miles from the sun.
In the early 2000s the National Academy of Sciences ranked the exploration of the Kuiper Belt -- and particularly Pluto and its largest moon, Charon -- as its top priority planetary mission for the coming decade.
It was demoted to the status of "dwarf planet" after the discovery of other Pluto-like, ice-and-rock worlds orbiting beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt.
The Kuiper Belt is a vast debris field of icy bodies left over from the solar system's formation 4.
Dwarf planets are not considered to be true planets mainly because they have not cleared their orbital path of other material they exist in populated regions such as the Asteroid Belt and the Kuiper Belt.
It discovered volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io and then went on to study the Kuiper Belt.
It possesses a rocky asteroid belt identical to the one that lies between Mars and Jupiter, and an outer ring of icy material similar to the Kuiper Belt at the edge of our Solar System.