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55.8 MB (3.6 MB compressed)
5315 x 3672 pixels
45.0 x 31.0 cm ⏐ 17.7 x 12.2 in (300dpi)
DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kuiper Belt. Artwork of icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt of the Solar System. This region, which extends from the orbit of Neptune at 30 AU (30 times the Earth-Sun distance) to 50 AU, is composed of a huge number of small bodies - there are at least 70,000 with diameters greater than 100 kilometres. It is believed that these objects are remnants of the accretions which formed our own planets; the denser materials were closer to the sun and formed our planets, whereas these less dense parts were further out and joined together slower. It lies in the same plane as the planets and is the source of short-period comets.
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