Kuiper belt

Missing member of planetary development discovered in the Kuiper belt Space

Missing member of planetary development discovered in the Kuiper belt

Beyond the orbit of Neptune, at approximately 30 to 50 astronomical units (AU, distance from the Earth to the Sun) from our central star, there are numerous small, medium, and large objects. They form the Kuiper belt – the waste dump for our Solar System, because the matter in this region couldn’t coalesce to form a proper planet. If current theory for planetary development is correct, the belt must contain bodies of all possible sizes. (mais…)
Dwarf planet Pluto – a gigantic comet? Space

Dwarf planet Pluto – a gigantic comet?

Researchers from the Southwest Research Institute in the USA have put forward an exciting theory in the journal Icarus. The scientists have tried to assemble a model for the formation of the dwarf planet Pluto. Here they have looked in particular at the nitrogen-rich Sputnik Planitia basin that is covered by a gigantic glacier made from frozen nitrogen. They combined this data with results from the Rosetta probe that studied the comet 67P. Their findings: the nitrogen content fits well with the theory that Pluto is a conglomeration of approximately one billion (!) comets or other similar Kuiper Belt…