The Kuiper belt is a disk-shaped belt of icy debris orbiting 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 ...

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Observed data: Why so many MPECs about TNOs lately?

The Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs) for July 15 through July 18 reported an unusually high number of re-observations of known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). These were found in the Pan-...
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How does 2015 RR245 compare to the other KBOs predicting “Planet 9”?

2015 RR245 was recently announced, in a highly eccentric orbit in the KBO. From what I understand, the so called "Planet 9" was predicted because these objects tended to be pointed in a particular ...
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What did New Horizons photograph that was close enough to be out of focus? [migrated]

The picture below shows a Kuiper Belt object and a number of stars. It was recently taken by the New Horizons probe and published by NASA. The arrow points at the KBO and the rest of the bright ...
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Is there Kuiper belt/Oort cloud like structure in gas giants?

I know gas giants have moons, just like star have planets, how about kuiper belts or Oort Cloud? Is there any corresponding structure in gas giants? If not, why don't they have?
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Is Planet Nine shepherding the Kuiper Belt?

Is it possible Planet Nine is shepherding the Kuiper Belt similar to the way Jupiter shepherds the asteroid belt? I understand that very little is actually known about Planet Nine at this point, but ...
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What type of planetary-mass object would Planet Nine be?

Given that Planet Nine is hypothesized to be 10-20 times the mass of the Earth orbiting the sun some 200-2500 AU out, what kind of planetary-mass object would it be? Even given that it has apparently ...
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How can the Kuiper belt coexist with the 9th planet?

There are asteroid belts, and there are collections of bodies in resonant orbits, such as Trojans. Aren't these separate things? The recent evidence for the 9th planet is an alignment in various ...
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Could the trajectories of non-periodic comets be used to infer properties of the 'ninth planet'?

Non-periodic comets are comets which have very long orbital periods (>200 years or more), spending most of their time in the outer solar system. Planet X, recently revived by researchers at Caltech, ...
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What's to be gained from the New Horizons mission once it's beyond the Kuiper Belt?

Now that we have seen what Pluto has to offer and New Horizons is headed to the Kuiper Belt, is there anything we can gain from the mission in interstellar space after it travels beyond the Kuiper ...
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Is it proper to refer to objects beyond Neptune as “Kuiper Belt Objects?”

It seems to me that nowadays the more proper term is "Trans-Neptunian Object". Is there any difference between Kuiper Belt Objects and Trans-Neptunian Objects? If not, is one term preferred over the ...
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Retrograde motion and Kuiper Belt Objects

As seen from Earth, planets such as Mars and Jupiter exhibit retrograde motion when they are near opposition (from Earth). I am wondering how this effect extends to very distant objects, such as ...
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How many observations does it take to determine the orbit of a TNO

Several observations of a distant solar object must be taken before determining its orbit, but in the case of objects discovered beyond Neptune's orbit, just how many are required over what period of ...
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Where does the Solar System end?

This is a question I've heard many times in the past, and a quick search of the site says it hasn't been asked here, so I figured I might as well ask (and answer) it. I know that it is rare for ...
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Have Pluto or any of its moons been mapped?

I was looking over some of the data for the terrestrial planets, and noticed that Venus, despite its cloud covering, had been mapped by the Arecibo Observatory. Also that other planets such as mars, ...
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How can the orbit of a Kuiper Belt Object be differentiated from the transit of a rogue planet?

Related to the question "Are any Pluto-sized objects remaining to be discovered in the Kuiper Belt?" and the fact that most of the Kuiper Belt objects have very elliptical orbits, the question begs, ...
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Are any Pluto-sized objects remaining to be discovered in the Kuiper Belt?

An object approximately the same size as Pluto, Eris, was discovered only 8 years ago (in 2005). Are there any Pluto-sized objects remaining to be discovered, and if so, how far away from the Sun ...