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Kuiper Belt

A wide belt beyond the orbit of Neptune, the most distant planet from the Sun, that is theorized to contain tens of millions of icy bodies. The most famous member of the belt is Pluto, but it also includes three other objects that have been classified as dwarf planets. Most of the Kuiper Belt’s members are leftover “building blocks” from the birth of the planets. They were thrown into distant orbits by gravitational interactions with the giant outer planets.

Radio Programs

Inconvenient Rings An inconvenient ring for a dwarf planet April 16, 2023

Keeping it Going A hard-working spacecraft keeps going February 24, 2023

Growing Population The solar system’s growing population December 19, 2022

Distant Merger The result of a distant merger August 3, 2019

More New Horizons Celebrating a distant encounter December 30, 2018

New Horizons A final target for a pioneer December 28, 2018

Kuiper Belt Discovering the Kuiper Belt August 30, 2017

Centaurs Hybrid critters in the outer solar system February 15, 2017

Featured Images

Quaoar and its moon and ring

Inconvenient Ring April 16, 2023

Highest-resolution image of 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule)

As Good As It Gets February 24, 2019

New Horizons view of MU69 (Ultima Thule)

Double Target January 3, 2019

New Horizons encounters Ultima Thule

Bowling a Strike January 2, 2019

2014 MU69, a ball of ice and rock about four billion miles from Earth, is the next target for New Horizons

Next Target December 28, 2018

Diagram shows the location of the Kuiper Belt

Icy Realm July 6, 2015

Three dwarf planets shown to scale with Earth and Moon

Dwarf Planets January 5, 2015