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Kuiper belt objects

  1. May 23, 2006 #1
    I was just wondering how many known kuiper belt objects are there??
    I've been searching the net, but I can't find a reliable source that can give me a definitive answer. I know that the estimated number of KBOs that are larger than 100km is 100 000, but I can't find the known number of all KBOs detected so far.

    Do you know of any reliable sources?

    I guess I don't particularly need it, but I would like this information for my introduction on possible kuiper belt occultations for my project.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2006 #2


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    Hmm. Last I heard, over 500 KBOs have been found, but I'd have to dig around for an updated reference.
  4. May 24, 2006 #3


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    Kuiper belt objects are so distant and small they are extremely difficult to detect. Their collective mass is relatively low, given the absence of any significant gravitational effects on the orbits of the outer planets, but a truly enormous number of them are suspected to exist.
  5. May 27, 2006 #4
    Thanks for that. I will keep looking around to see if I can find it.
  6. Jun 16, 2006 #5
    If there were a truly enormous number of Kuiper belt objects wouldn't the gravitational effects on the outer planets get canceled out? They would effectively enclose the solar system. I've seen many analogous situations for the electric field from a charged spherical shell conductor.
  7. Jun 22, 2006 #6


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  8. Jun 22, 2006 #7


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    I think a definitive count is going to be hard to come by. That stat you quoted had a size specification, and any number you find is likely to be presented in the same way. After all, the Belt is full of dust and ice crystals and the like, so the answer may well depend on how you define "object".
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