Kuiper belt(redirected from Kuiper gap)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Kuiper gap: Kuiper belt objects
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.]
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.
(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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.
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.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.