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 ?
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Kuiper Belt and Take A Turn Both have nice weights and are in good form.
Using New Horizons data from the Pluto-Charon flyby in 2015, a Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists have indirectly discovered a distinct and surprising lack of very small objects in the Kuiper Belt. The evidence for the paucity of small Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) comes from New Horizons imaging that revealed a dearth of small craters on Pluto's largest satellite, Charon, indicating that impactors from 300 feet to 1 mile (91 meters to 1.6 km) in diameter must also be rare.
The KBO is apparently just one of many in the Kuiper Belt, which has long been known to hold remnants of the solar system's formation.
The New Horizons mission, launched in January of 2006, aims to understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of the dwarf planet Pluto, and by venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt -- a relic of solar system formation.
Meanwhile, New Horizons will also be exploring 30 other Kuiper Belt objects from much greater distances through 2021.
This December 2017 false-color image made available by NASA in February 2018 shows KBO (Kuiper Belt object) 2012 HZ84.(NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute via AP / MANILA BULLETIN)
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.
Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? It's gorgeous, Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), said in a statement.
They reclassified the newly discovered objects, including Pluto and its moons, into a grouping called the Kuiper Belt.
This mission also opens the door to an entirely new "third" zone of mysterious small planets and planetary building blocks in the Kuiper Belt, a large area with numerous objects beyond Neptune's orbit.