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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

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

Cold Discoveries Cold discoveries beyond the planets December 28, 2016

One Year Later, III New targets for New Horizons July 20, 2016

Kuiper Belt “Little guys” at the edge of the solar system July 5, 2015

Icy Time Capsules Refugees from the realm of the giants January 7, 2015

Dwarf Planets A new name for leftover building blocks January 4, 2015

Featured Images

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