Kuiper Belt News
May 20, 2019

Top Headlines

Crater Counts on Pluto, Charon Show Small Kuiper Belt Objects Surprisingly Rare

Using New Horizons data from the Pluto-Charon flyby in 2015, scientists have indirectly discovered a distinct and surprising lack of very small ... read more

Missing-Link in Planet Evolution Found

For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the Solar System. Kilometer sized bodies like the one discovered have been predicted to exist for more than 70 ... read more

Mystery Orbits in Outermost Reaches of Solar System Not Caused by 'Planet Nine'

The strange orbits of some objects in the farthest reaches of our solar system, hypothesized by some astronomers to be shaped by an unknown ninth ... read more

New Horizons Successfully Explores Ultima Thule

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that ... read more
Latest Headlines
updated 8:49am EDT

Earlier Headlines

Scientists Introduce Cosmochemical Model for Pluto Formation

Scientists integrated NASA's New Horizons discoveries with data from ESA's Rosetta mission to develop a new theory about how Pluto may have formed at the edge of our solar ... read more

New Limit on the Definition of a Planet Proposed

A planet can be no bigger than about 10 times the size of Jupiter, an astrophysicist has ... read more

Pluto's Hydrocarbon Haze Keeps Dwarf Planet Colder Than Expected

The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the ... read more

Haumea, the Most Peculiar of Pluto Companions, Has a Ring Around It

The trans-neptunian belt contains four dwarf planets, among which Haumea stands out for its extremely elongated shape and rapid rotation. A stellar occultation makes it possible to establish the main ... read more

The Super-Earth That Came Home for Dinner

It might be lingering bashfully on the icy outer edges of our solar system, hiding in the dark, but subtly pulling strings behind the scenes: stretching out the orbits of distant bodies, perhaps even ... read more

Pluto Features Given First Official Names

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union has officially approved the naming of 14 features on the surface of Pluto. These are the first geological ... read more

Planet Nine Hypothesis Supported by New Evidence

Last year, the existence of an unknown planet in our Solar system was announced. However, this hypothesis was subsequently called into question as biases in the observational data were detected. Now ... read more

Moon Orbits Third Largest Dwarf Planet in Our Solar System

Astronomers have uncovered a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, 2007 OR10, in the frigid outskirts of our solar system called the Kuiper ... read more

Meet 'DeeDee,' a Distant, Dim Member of Our Solar System

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body ... read more

Scientists Make the Case to Restore Pluto's Planet Status

Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So, he says, is Europa, commonly known as a moon of ... read more

Official Naming of Surface Features on Pluto and Its Satellites: First Step Approved

The New Horizons flyby of Pluto and its satellites returned a scientific treasure trove of information about these distant and surprisingly complex worlds, showing a vast nitrogen glacier as well as ... read more

New Data About Two Distant Asteroids Give a Clue to the Possible 'Planet Nine'

The dynamical properties of these asteroids, observed spectroscopiccally for the first time using the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, suggest a possible common origin and give a clue to the existence of a ... read more

Dwarf Star 200 Light Years Away Contains Life's Building Blocks

Many scientists believe the Earth was initially dry and that water, carbon and nitrogen -- the building blocks for life -- likely came as a result of collisions with objects that began their lives in ... read more

Massive Comet-Like Object Pollutes Atmosphere of a White Dwarf

For the first time, scientists have witnessed a massive object with the makeup of a comet being ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf, the burned-out remains of a compact ... read more

How a Moon Slows the Decay of Pluto's Atmosphere

A new study provides additional insight into relationship between Pluto and its moon, Charon, and how it affects the continuous stripping of Pluto's atmosphere by solar wind. When Charon is ... read more

Modeling Offers New Perspective on How Pluto's 'Icy Heart' Came to Be

Pluto's "icy heart" is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015. Of particular interest ... read more

New Analysis Adds Support for a Subsurface Ocean on Pluto

A liquid ocean lying deep beneath Pluto's frozen surface is the best explanation for features revealed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, according to a new analysis. The idea that Pluto ... read more

Cracked, Frozen and Tipped Over: New Clues from Pluto's Past

New research by planetary scientists reveals fascinating clues about Pluto, suggesting the small world at the fringes of our solar system is much more active than anyone ever ... read more

New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Flyby Data to Earth

NASA's New Horizons mission reached a major milestone this week when the last bits of science data from the Pluto flyby -- stored on the spacecraft's digital recorders since July 2015 -- ... read more

More Evidence for Ninth Planet Roming Solar System's Outer Fringes

As the search for a hypothetical, unseen planet far, far beyond Neptune's orbit continues, new research provides additional support for the possible existence of such a world and narrows the ... read more

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