Kuiper Belt NEW Agreed Terms March 2022

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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Kuiper Belt – Agreed Terms - New and Extended:

Comets, Meteors and Asteroids” by John Man BBC 2001

“Kuiper Belt

This belt of icy bodies is named after the Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who suggested its existence in 1951. The suggestion became more attractive in 1980, when Julio Fernandez of the National Astronomy Observatory, Madrid, pointed out that most short-period comets orbited in the same plane as the planets, and ought therefore to have their origins in an extension of the disc of dust and gas from which the planets had condensed. For a few years, this remained a theory. Then in the mid 1980s, USA’s Infrared Astronomical Sattelite (IRAS) photographed such a belt around a star in the constellation Pictor. Then, in 1992, David Jewitt and Jane Luu at the University of Hawaii spotted a tiny object, about 320 km (200 miles) across, orbiting beyond Neptune – the first Kuiper Belt Object (KBO).



Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the Outer Solar System” by Linda T Elkins-Tanton Chelsea House 2006
Kuiper Belt and Kuiper Belt Objects


“Neptune’s orbit carries the planet from 29.8 to 30.3 AU from the Sun. Small bodies orbiting past Neptune are referred to as trans-Neptunian objects, and then are further sub-divided into members of the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud. Neptune marks the inner edge of the Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt was originally thought to reach from 35 to 100 AU from the Sun, and then to merge into the Oort Cloud of icy bodies. . . . . . . there (now) appears to be a gap between the edge of the Kuiper Belt and the beginning of the comet-rich Oort Cloud. The Kuiper Belt begins around 30 AU and has a sharp outer edge at 49 AU.” . . . . . . . . .

“The Kuiper Belt had been postulated since 1943, but it remained a theory until 1992. Only the development of a highly sensitive viewing instrument, called a charge-couple device has allowed astronomers to see the tiny bodies in the Kuiper Belt.” . . . . . . . . .

Kuiper Belt Bodies are divided into three classes according to their orbits; classical (or cubewano), resonance (or plutino), or scattered disk (object). Classical Kuiper Belt Objects have orbits with low eccentricity and low inclination, indicating that they formed from the solar nebula in place and have not been further perturbed. These objects are sometimes called cubewanos and include any large KBO orbiting between about 41 and 48 AU but not controlled by orbital resonances with Neptune. The name is derived from 1992 QB1, the first KBO found. Subsequent objects were called “que-be-one-os”, or cubewanos. There are about 524 cubewanos known as of 2004. Resonance Kuiper Belt Objects are protected from gravitational perturbation by integral ratios between their orbital periods and Neptune’s. Like Pluto, many KBOs have orbits in periods of 3:2 with Neptune. . . . Because they share their resonance with Pluto, they are called plutinos. As of 2005, there were about 150 plutinos and 22 other resonance objects.” . . . . .

“The third class, scattered disk (Kuiper Belt) objects, have large, eccentric orbits, perhaps created by gravitational interactions with the giant planets. There are about 100 known (2006) scattered disk objects. The KBO 1996TL66 is a good example of this class, with an orbital eccentricity of 0.59 that carries it to 130 AU at aphelion. There are thought to be as many as 10,000 scattered disk objects.”


Comets Visitors from Deep Space” by David J Eicher Cambridge University Press 2013

Kuiper Belt
A region of small Solar System bodies beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at about 30 AU from the Sun) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. Named for Dutch American astronomer Gerard P Kuiper.

“Fundamental Planetary Science” by Jack Lissauer and Imke de Pater CUP 2019
“Kuiper Belt

The Kuiper Belt is a thick disk of ice/rock bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. The two largest members of the Kuiper Belt to have been sighted are Eris, whose heliocentric distance oscillates between 38 and 97 AU, and Pluto, whose heliocentric distance varies from 29 to 50 AU. The radii of Eris and Pluto exceed 1000 km.”

Kuiper Belt Objects

Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are icy bodies, and the largest KBOs are an order of magnitude more massive than 1 Ceres. The total mass of the Kuiper Belt exceeds that of the Asteroid Belt by about two orders of magnitude. Yet, because the Kuiper Belt is located much further from both the Earth and the Sun than the Asteroid Belt, more is known about asteroids than about KBOs.”

“The Kuiper Belt is also the primary source of the Short Period or Ecliptic Comets (ECs), comets that are on eccentric orbits near the ecliptic plane and return with regularity (orbital periods <200 years) to the inner Solar System.” See Oort Cloud for long-period comets (>~ 10,000 AU

Encyclopaedia of the Solar System” Academic Press Ed Weissman, McFadden and Johnson.
A mammoth book of over 1000 pages. The Kuiper Belt chapter takes up 26 pages, with a further 20 pages devoted to Pluto and Charon.
From Historical Perspective:

“The planets formed in a disk of material that originally surrounded the Sun. . . . . . . . . . Then there is Pluto, unique, having an orbital inclination of 15.6o . . . . . . . . . having an orbit that crosses the orbit of … Neptune. So, the historical view was that Pluto was an oddity in the Solar System. . . . This view, however, changed in September 1992 with the announcement of the discovery of the first of a population of small (compared to planetary bodies) objects orbiting beyond the orbit of Neptune, in the same region as Pluto. Since that time, 60 objects with radii between about 50 and 500 km have been discovered. . . . There are almost certainly very more smaller ones. . . . “

“The discovery of the Kuiper Belt, as it has come to be known, represents a revolution in our thinking about the Solar System. First predicted on theoretical grounds and later confirmed by observations, the Kuiper Belt is the first totally new class of bodies to be discovered in the Solar System since the first asteroid was found on New Year’s Day in 1801. . . . . . . “

“However, the idea was resurrected in 1980 when Julio Fernandez proposed that a cometary disk beyond Neptune could be a possible source reservoir for the short-period comets (those with orbital periods < 200 years). Subsequent dynamical simulations showed that a comet belt beyond Neptune is the most plausible source for the low inclination, Jupiter-family comets. This work led observers to search for Kuiper Belt objects, the first one being discovered by David Jewitt and Jane Luu in August 1992. Since then, over 60 KBOs with estimated radii >~50 km (assuming a typical cometary nucleus albedo pf 0.04) have been found by ground based searches, and about 30 comet-sized (radii <~10 km) objects have been detected using the Hubble Space Telescope. (Because the Kuiper Belt is believed to be the source of the Jupiter-family short-period comets, typical cometary albedos of 4% are assumed for the surfaces of KBOs.)”

“Two populations of objects in the Solar System are related to the Kuiper Belt. The first consists of a large number (~106) of (presumably) icy objects on planet-crossing orbits interior to Neptune’s orbit. These objects are known as ecliptic comets and they most likely originated in the Kuiper Belt. Ecliptic comets include two distinct subpopulations: Centaurs and Jupiter-family comets. Known Centaurs are 20- to 100- km-radius objects with semi-major axes beyond the orbit of Jupiter, most of which appear to be inactive (a notable exception is the first Centaur discovered, 2060 Chiron). Jupiter-family comets are much smaller objects a few kilometers in diameter on Jupiter-crossing orbits but with semimajor axes interior to Jupiter. Most of the known Jupiter-family comets are active comets, as active comets are much brighter and hence easier to detect than inactive ones.” . . . . . . . . .

“The second related population of objects is known as the scattered comet disk. (Discovered in) 1996, the scattered disk occupies the same volume of physical space as the Kuiper Belt, but has a different dynamical character and a different origin.” . . . . . . . . .

“It is rare in the history of astronomy that a whole new region of the Solar System is discovered that needs to be understood. . . . . . . . . . The discovery of duct disks around nearby stars by the IRAS satellite in 1983-4 suggests that Kuiper Belts may be a natural consequence of star and planet formation, thus providing us with a tool for studying solar system formation around other stars.

10 Need-to-Know Things About the Kuiper Belt – from NASA

The Kuiper Belt is a region of space. The known icy worlds and comets in both regions are much smaller than Earth's Moon.

The Kuiper Belt is a doughnut-shaped ring of icy objects around the Sun, extending just beyond the orbit of Neptune from about 30 to 55 AU.

Short-period comets (which take less than 200 years to orbit the Sun) originate in the Kuiper Belt.

There may be hundreds of thousands of icy bodies larger than 100 km (62 miles) and an estimated trillion or more comets within the Kuiper Belt.

Some dwarf planets within the Kuiper Belt have thin atmospheres that collapse when their orbit carries them farthest from the Sun.

Several dwarf planets within the Kuiper Belt have moons.

Egg-shaped Haumea has a ring around it.

The first mission to explore the Kuiper Belt is New Horizons. It flew past Pluto in 2015 and is on its way to explore another Kuiper Belt world.

It is not clear if worlds in this distant, cold region are capable of supporting life as we know it.

Astronomers are searching for a possible planet that might explain the strange orbits of several Kuiper Belt Objects. The nickname: Planet 9.

Frequently Asked Questions – from NASA
Where is the Kuiper Belt?
The inner edge of the Kuiper Belt begins at the orbit of Neptune, at about 30 AU from the Sun. (1 AU, or astronomical unit, is the distance from Earth to the Sun.)

The inner, main region of the Kuiper Belt ends around 50 AU from the Sun. Overlapping the outer edge of the main part of the Kuiper Belt is a second region called the scattered disk, which continues outward to nearly 1,000 AU, with some bodies on orbits that go even farther beyond.

How was the Kuiper Belt created?
Astronomers think the icy objects of the Kuiper Belt are remnants left over from the formation of the solar system. Similar to the relationship between the main asteroid belt and Jupiter, it's a region of objects that might have come together to form a planet had Neptune not been there. Instead, Neptune's gravity stirred up this region of space so much that the small, icy objects there weren't able to coalesce into a large planet.


Should Ceres still be in the Kuiper Belt? Where it originated?

Strange dwarf planet Ceres may have formed at the icy edges of the solar system, scientists suggest | Space


Edited and extended 18th March 2022
 
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Great summary, Cat! That's a target rich list of quotes to work with. :)

It may help to define KBOs in the context of TNO's, which includes KBOs, Scattered Disk Objects (which you mention), and the Oort Cloud. Plutinos are a subset of KBOs, and KBOs are a subset of TNOs.

The location of KBO's seems to be a bit messy, still:

These two quotes favor about 50 AU:
"The Kuiper Belt begins around 30 AU and has a sharp outer edge at 49 AU.” . . . . . . . . .

"Extending from the orbit of Neptune (at about 30 AU from the Sun) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. "

But Eris is at ~ 68 AU (semi-major axis):

"The two largest members of the Kuiper Belt to have been sighted are Eris, whose heliocentric distance oscillates between 38 and 97 AU, and Pluto, whose heliocentric distance varies from 29 to 50 AU. ”

Even though there are about 1000 objects discovered so far, perhaps under 10% of what's out there, I can't understand what physics can argue much in the way of boundaries. The original concept comes from tossing effect of objects by the larger planets. But the chaos nature of the early system, sometimes described as a pin-ball machine, leaves a lot open to greater tossing ability. Given that Oort objects may have been tossed to about 60,000 AU, it's hard to imagine some sort of boundary. But perhaps there is some known celestial mechanics to this, perhaps initiated by Kuiper, but I just don't know.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
As with most books, they will be slightly out of date on somethings. However, there is a vast amount of useful and interesting information to be had. Another series of books I find very interesting is the "Hidden in Plain Sight" series by Andrew Thomas. They are very modestly priced on Kindle at £0.99 each.

Cat :)
 
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As with most books, they will be slightly out of date on somethings. However, there is a vast amount of useful and interesting information to be had. Another series of books I find very interesting is the "Hidden in Plain Sight" series by Andrew Thomas. They are very modestly priced on Kindle at £0.99 each.

Cat :)
If you can get me a catalog where we can download the data into Excel (i.e. csv format), perhaps you can suggest a useful program that will help plot things as more discoveries are made. I don't know what the program would offer over other typical plots, however.
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Great summary, Cat! That's a target rich list of quotes to work with. :)

It may help to define KBOs in the context of TNO's, which includes KBOs, Scattered Disk Objects (which you mention), and the Oort Cloud. Plutinos are a subset of KBOs, and KBOs are a subset of TNOs.

The location of KBO's seems to be a bit messy, still:

These two quotes favor about 50 AU:
"The Kuiper Belt begins around 30 AU and has a sharp outer edge at 49 AU.” . . . . . . . . .

"Extending from the orbit of Neptune (at about 30 AU from the Sun) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. "

But Eris is at ~ 68 AU (semi-major axis):

"The two largest members of the Kuiper Belt to have been sighted are Eris, whose heliocentric distance oscillates between 38 and 97 AU, and Pluto, whose heliocentric distance varies from 29 to 50 AU. ”

Even though there are about 1000 objects discovered so far, perhaps under 10% of what's out there, I can't understand what physics can argue much in the way of boundaries. The original concept comes from tossing effect of objects by the larger planets. But the chaos nature of the early system, sometimes described as a pin-ball machine, leaves a lot open to greater tossing ability. Given that Oort objects may have been tossed to about 60,000 AU, it's hard to imagine some sort of boundary. But perhaps there is some known celestial mechanics to this, perhaps initiated by Kuiper, but I just don't know.
Thank you for your kind comment. As you know, I am not attempting to write an encyclopaedia myself, but collecting a number of interesting (and historical) pieces which offer a broad spectrum of information. I hope this will produce good leads to those seeing them and thus good publicity for the original authors. Useful additions are welcome, so please feel free to share your very extensive knowledge.

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Great summary, Cat! That's a target rich list of quotes to work with. :)

It may help to define KBOs in the context of TNO's, which includes KBOs, Scattered Disk Objects (which you mention), and the Oort Cloud. Plutinos are a subset of KBOs, and KBOs are a subset of TNOs.

The location of KBO's seems to be a bit messy, still:

These two quotes favor about 50 AU:
"The Kuiper Belt begins around 30 AU and has a sharp outer edge at 49 AU.” . . . . . . . . .

"Extending from the orbit of Neptune (at about 30 AU from the Sun) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. "

But Eris is at ~ 68 AU (semi-major axis):

"The two largest members of the Kuiper Belt to have been sighted are Eris, whose heliocentric distance oscillates between 38 and 97 AU, and Pluto, whose heliocentric distance varies from 29 to 50 AU. ”

Even though there are about 1000 objects discovered so far, perhaps under 10% of what's out there, I can't understand what physics can argue much in the way of boundaries. The original concept comes from tossing effect of objects by the larger planets. But the chaos nature of the early system, sometimes described as a pin-ball machine, leaves a lot open to greater tossing ability. Given that Oort objects may have been tossed to about 60,000 AU, it's hard to imagine some sort of boundary. But perhaps there is some known celestial mechanics to this, perhaps initiated by Kuiper, but I just don't know.
The semi-minor axis of Eris is 38 AU. Does that help?
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Sorry, you are correct. I was thinking about the cat and just grabbed the wrong number. Quick calculation gives 54.959 or 55 AU, so it is all outside the 50 AU.

I could recalculate, but of my two hand calculators, one is very simplistic, but very useful for most purposes, and the other is overcomplex. To be quite honest, I don't get much use for programmable calcs these days. I'll just go check it.
iirc, its semimajor into sq rt of (1 - e^2).
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Apologies if this thread is getting somewhat off topic. As some of you will know, I am a great Korzybski (General Semantics) fan: "The map is not the territory".

One of the things that we should keep in mind, is that there are multizillions of bits of rock, from large - to smallish - to dust - out there, a very tiny proportion of which might, at some time, threaten planet Earth. Call them what you will.

I am pointing out that there are various regions which can be classified, and I, for one, will admit to being somewhat confused by all the different appellations. I will try to sort some of this out - but please don't hold your breath.

Cat :)
 
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I am pointing out that there are various regions which can be classified, and I, for one, will admit to being somewhat confused by all the different appellations.
"Appellations" - that's a new word that I'm pleased to learn. :) [Perhaps those in the Appalachian mountains don't use it that much. ;)]

The equation for a (semi major axis), [Here] given a periapsis is:

a = Rp/(1-e) .... Rp is periapsis; e is eccentricity.

Though the variations are minor, there is more than one value on the internet for Rp, but using Wiki's page on Eris, Rp = 38.27 AU, yielding the 68 AU for a.

Perhaps this distance helps in making definitions.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Helio, let's start over:

Eris (dwarf planet) Wiki:
"Eris has an orbital period of 559 years.[16] Its maximum possible distance from the Sun (aphelion) is 97.5 AU, and its closest (perihelion) is 38 AU" as you stated above (38).

Thus, Eris does come within the Kuiper Belt by most, if not all definitions.

Anyway, you stated it correctly in #3. What have we (well, I, really) been going on about?

Cat 😾
 
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Helio, they are only numbers. It is chacun à son goût. The bits of rock ain't what you call 'em. Selective definitions rule. Or whatever . . . . . . . . . ?
Ok, aluminum or aluminium. :) But I thought we were talking about regions not the rocks themselves. [I'm sorry to hear your son has gout! (I'm joking for those not following closely).]
 

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P.S. @Catastrophe - If I am mistaken in your intentions, please let me know.

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