Oort cloud


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Oort cloud: Kuiper belt, Sedna

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.]

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.
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
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
Since this star will clip the Oort Cloud inside the aphelion of the putative, Neptune-size, and as-yet-optically-unverified "Planet Nine," it seems to me the potential for great catastrophe exists.
Known as K2, the comet has already been travelling for millions of years from its birthplace in the Oort Cloud, a shell of icy objects almost a light year across on the solar system's outermost fringes.
Which astrological phenomena are found in millions in the Oort cloud beyond Pluto?
Voyager II is past what we used to think of as the solar system, but it is still in the heliosheath, approaching the (theoretical) edge of the Oort cloud.
Because the Oort Cloud dominates the Solar System angular momentum [7], providing about 50 times the total angular momentum contribution from the Sun and the planets
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is a visitor from the Oort cloud, a shell of frozen debris enveloping the solar system.
Long-period comets that hail from the distant Oort cloud originally formed in Uranus-Neptune region, far enough from the Sun that water ice could survive.
Comets originate from two places in the solar system: the Kuiper belt, a ring of icy debris just beyond the orbit of Neptune; and the Oort cloud, a spherical shell of frozen detritus much farther out.
This cloud, known as the Oort Cloud, is believed to be the reservoir from which comets emanate.
Siding Spring comes from the Oort Cloud, which is made up of material
Siding Spring came from the Oort Cloud, a spherical region of space surrounding our sun and occupying space at a distance between 5,000 and 100,000 astronomical units.
conditions similar to the cold birthplace of the most ancient comets from the Oort cloud.