Now that we’re done with the planets, asteroid belt, and comets, we’re heading to the outskirts of the solar system. Out past Neptune are vast reservoirs of icy bodies that can become comets if they get poked into the inner solar system. The Kuiper Belt is a donut shape aligned with the plane of the solar system; the scattered disk is more eccentric and is the source of short period comets; and the Oort Cloud which surrounds the solar system out to great distances is the source of long-period comets. These bodies all probably formed closer into the Sun, and got flung out to the solar system’s suburbs by gravitational interactions with the outer planets.
Table of Contents Icy Bodies That Can Become Comets 0:27 The Kuiper Belt is a Donut Shape Aligned With the Plane of the Solar System 2:57 The Scattered Disk is More Eccentric and the Source of Short Period Comets 4:26 Oort Cloud Surrounds Our Solar System and is the Source of Long-Period Comets 4:04 These Bodies Probably Formed Near the Sun and Dispersed Through Gravitational Interactions 5:41
In this Crash Course series, marvel at the wonders of astronomy with your host for this intergalactic adventure, the Bad Astronomer himself -- Phil Plait. In just 40 short lessons, you will learn the basics of the oldest science known to humanity.
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