● A Dutch-American astronomer
named Gerard P. Kuiper first
proposed the idea of the
Kuiper Belt in 1951
● He believed there was an
elliptic shape region that was
filled with icy objects.
● This was Kuiper’s greatest
History of The Kuiper Belt
It contains small icy bodies
It is a disk shaped region past the orbit of
Kuiper Belt Objects?
Extends from 30 to
50 AU (2.5 to 4.5
billion miles) from
comets originate in
the kuiper belt
There are many dwarf planets that are seen
on the belt
The largest dwarf planet is Eris, it's coated
with methane ice
Next is Pluto, 2006 it was discovered that it
was not a planet, but only a dwarf planet
Haumea rotates every 3.9 hours
Makemake was discovered in 2005
Ceres is the first asteroid discovered and
also the largest
Kuiper Belt Objects:
• It is believed that
there are over
70,000 objects in
the Kuiper Belt.
• The Kuiper belt is
about 20 times
larger than the
More Kuiper Belt Facts
• Comets are irregular-shaped icy objects.
• The nucleus of a comet is made up of
black mass of rock, dust and frozen
• While comets are mostly made of water,
they are also composed of ammonia,
carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide,
hydrogen cyanide and methane.
What is a Comet?
• When the comet
approaches the Sun, it
goes through sublimation.
o Sublimation is the
process in which a
comets nucleus begins
to warm, and its outer
layer begins to
What Happens to the Comet?
Fun Fact: The term "comet" comes from the
Greek "kometes" meaning long hair, referring to
• Jan Oort first introduced
the idea of comets
coming from icy bodies
some where in our solar
• It is estimated that the
Oort Cloud has anywhere
from 0.1 to 2 trillion icy
bodies in its solar orbit.
History of the Oort Cloud
A distribution of icy objects (ammonia, water
and methane) like comets orbiting around our
Distance around 50,000 AU or a light-year
Believed to be the origin of the long-period
comets in the solar system; for example
comet Hale-Bopp was thought to originate
Scientists have yet to examine Oort Cloud up
close; it'll be decades before they send a
Oort Cloud Objects?
• The total mass of comets in the Oort cloud
at this time is about 40 times that of Earth.
• Halley’s Comet was originated in the Oort
• All objects in the Oort Cloud are known as
• This means that they are at a greater
distance form the sun then Neptune is.
More Facts About the Oort Cloud
The scale, shape and position of
the Oort cloud:
How the Oort Cloud
surrounds our Solar System:
Currently: Kuiper Belt Object
An object called 2001QG298 is rotating like a
propeller in the kuiper belt beyond Neptune as it
orbits our Sun
Spins like an ecliptic plane; looks like an hourglass
Researchers first noticed it in 2004 because the
brightness appeared to triple every 7 hours
A researcher says "The object appears faint at
times because one lobe is hidden behind the other,
so less area is reflecting sunlight, as the hidden
component rotates back into view we can see the
full hour glass shape. The reflecting area increases
and the whole thing looks brighter."