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Astro Quiz 33: Kuiper Belt?

Question #33 – What is the Kuiper Belt?

Answer:

The Kuiper Belt is a circumsolar, disc-shaped region of the solar system, extending from the orbit of Neptune (a distance of 30 AU) to about 50 AU from the Sun. This area contains small icy objects, and is one source of the comets that travel through our solar system. This region also includes Pluto and at least three other dwarf planets, and more are expected to be discovered.

The Kuiper Belt is named after Gerard Kuiper (pronounced "kai-per"), a Dutch-American astronomer and planetary scientist. You can read more about the Kuiper Belt at NASA.gov.


The Kuiper Belt, starting at the orbit of Neptune
Image credit: NASA

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