DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Icy bodies in a Kuiper Belt. Artwork of a planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system. It is amongst a band of icy astronomical bodies similar to those found within our solar system's own Kuiper Belt. 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.
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