Kuiper Belt

Region in the outer solar system beyond Neptune’s orbit that contains billions of small, icy planetesimals from the original protoplanetary disc that failed to coalesce into planets. The Kuiper Belt extends from Neptune’s orbit at 30 AU to ~55 AU. It is ~20x wider and 20-200x more massive than the asteroid belt and contains three categories of bodies: classical KBOs, scattered KBOs (KBOs thrown into long elliptical orbits by Neptune), and resonant KBOs (in a 3:2 resonance relationship with Neptune including Pluto and sometimes called ‘plutinos’). The Kuiper belt is sometimes considered part of the Oort Cloud. It is occasionally referred to as the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt.

 

 

 

 

Some or all content above used with permission from J. H. Wittke.