Relationship of the Kuiper Belt to the Oort Cloud
Relationship of the Kuiper Belt to the Oort Cloud
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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2002-04
Release Date: Apr 17, 2002
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This illustration shows that the Kuiper Belt is shaped like a disk [see inset diagram] and resides within the shell-like structure of the Oort Cloud. Located on the outskirts of the solar system, the Kuiper Belt is a "junkyard" of countless icy bodies left over from the solar system's formation. The Oort Cloud is a vast shell of billions of comets. The inset diagram compares Pluto's orbit with a Kuiper Belt binary object called 1998 WW31. The Kuiper Belt [the fuzzy disk] extends from inside Pluto's orbit to the edge of the solar system.


Tags
Hubble Telescope, Illustrations, Kuiper Belt Objects, Solar System

Credits

Credit: NASA and A. Feild (Space Telescope Science Institute)