The Kuiper belt

(Last edited: Monday, 2 October 2023, 7:19 PM)
Image Source:

Image Source:

Short Definition:
The Kuiper belt (called Edgeworth-Kuiper belt) is a region in space located in the outer Solar System placed between 30 to 50-55 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun. It is a doughnut-shaped ring composed of gas, dust or asteroids.

Detailed Definition:
The first hypotheses about the Kuiper belt appeared in 1930, but it took over 50 years to confirm that hypotheses. Since then scientists discovered over 100000 KBOs (Kuiper belt object) with the diameter larger than 100 km. With that distance from the Sun, objects are mostly composed of leftovers from the solar system's early history which means icy bodies (frozen chemical elements and compounds). The largest KBOs are: Pluto (composed in 98 percent from nitrogen ice) and Eris (mostly built from methane). As the Kuiper Belt is icy-cold place it is thought to be the source of the comets in the solar system. The fascinating thing is that not only planets and dwarf planets might have moons but also lots on Kuiper Belt objects have ones.


Kuiper – Dutch – Kuiper - cooper – from the name of the scientist Gerard Kuiper
Belt – Latin - balteus - girdle

Sample Sentence(s):
“The amount of material in the Kuiper Belt today might be just a small fraction of what was originally there.”


Ceinture de Kuiper


Pas Kuipera


Cinturón de Kuiper

Links to Videos/Articles:

» Dictionary of Space Concepts