lecture18 - The Kuiper Belt The Kuiper Belt A fattened (but...

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Unformatted text preview: The Kuiper Belt The Kuiper Belt A fattened (but not totally fat!) distribution oF objects beyond Neptunes orbit, 30 to 50 AU From the sun Hundreds oF objects in the Kuiper belt have been discovered in the past 10 years There are probably tens oF thousands oF Kuiper belt objects larger than about 100 km Discovering Kuiper belt objects Recent discoveries of objects beyond Neptune: Quaoar (2002) and Sedna (2003) Quaoar and Sedna Quaoar: radius about 625 km (similar in size to Charon) nearly circular orbit at r = 42 AU, orbital period 285 years Sedna: radius probably around 900 km very elongated orbit, currently at r = 90 AU from the sun orbital period 10,500 years, semimajor axis 480 AU The 10th planet? Object 2003UB313 Currently at about 105 AU from the sun: the most distant known object in the solar system Size: not precisely known, but probably about 10% larger radius than Pluto Surface composition similar to Pluto (methane ice) it has a moon- named Dysnomia OfFcial new name: Eris Eris and Dysnomia Defnition oF a Planet in...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course PHYSICS PHYSICS 20 taught by Professor Aaronbarth during the Winter '10 term at UC Irvine.

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lecture18 - The Kuiper Belt The Kuiper Belt A fattened (but...

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