TAKE 27 LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TAKE 27 LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation of a flight over a body in the Kuiper Belt, with several irregular bodies visible in its sky. The Kuiper Belt is a huge disc-shaped region of icy debris that orbits the Sun beyond Neptune. The Kuiper Belt extends between 30 and 50 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. Earth's orbit is one AU by definition, and Neptune orbits roughly 30AU distant. Combined, the countless small bodies of the Kuiper Belt are thought to amount to around a twentieth of the mass of the Earth, or about 100 times that of the Asteroid Belt. The largest object in the Kuiper Belt is the dwarf planet Pluto, and a number of similar bodies more than 1000 kilometres wide have been discovered, including the dwarf planets Haumea and Makemake.
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