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Ask Dr. Universe: What is the Kuiper Belt?

Dr-Universe-230PULLMAN, Wash. – You might say the Kuiper Belt is the frozen frontier of our solar system. Out beyond Neptune’s chilly orbit, this saucer-shaped region is home to Pluto, billions of comets, and other icy worlds.

Dr-U-in-space“The Kuiper Belt is really the edge of knowledge,” said my friend and astronomy professor Guy Worthey when we met up in the Washington State University planetarium.

“Out there it’s a little dim,” Worthey said. “We are pretty far from the Sun.”

In fact, it’s about 3 billion miles away. Even at the speed of a jet airplane, it would take more than 680 years to travel from Earth to the outer solar system. Fortunately, spacecraft like NASA’s New Horizons can get there much faster.

Read all of this answer from Dr. Universe at https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/2016/04/28/kuiper-belt-what-is-it/.

 

A service of Washington State University, Ask Dr. Universe answers some of the most interesting, tough and smart questions from curious kids all around the world.

 

 

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