The outer regions of our solar system are being examined now with increasing interest and enthusiasm! What once may have been thought of as a distant and dull region of space now is being enlivened due to recent research and discoveries. Indeed, what appears to be an entirely exotic and spectacular scene is appearing within an area once believed to be the empty backyard of our cosmic neighborhood!
I still think that if Pluto at all was to be concerned about Earth’s opinion of it’s status within our solar system, the world quickly would give a dismissive laugh! The probable truth is that there is so much happening within the general Pluto neighborhood. It likely could be perceived that the dwarf planet would not have the time to bother with what Earth has decided about it’s stance within space!
Pluto is one of five dwarf planets within our solar system that are being acknowledged, at this point. Most of them exist beyond Pluto’s orbit, likely recognized as members of The Kuiper Belt. These are the most-distant, known objects of our solar system. It is the dwarf planet Ceres, sometimes designated as an asteroid, which is located within The Asteroid Belt.
As well, there is The Oort Cloud! Located at about one light year from The Sun, 4.6 trillion miles, this has been called “the icy shell” of our solar system. It’s actual existence is in debate within the scientific community, as some do, and some do not want to state that The Oort Cloud really is out there! Current studies are showing that the asteroids, comets, and planetesimals of this region were formed in an area of the solar system nearer to The Sun. Yet, the gravitational forces of the inner planets, along with the extreme force exerted by Jupiter, slung these objects to the furthest areas of the solar system, just held in place by the gravitational power of The Sun.
Past The Oort Cloud is true interstellar space! Yet, the cloud itself consists of asteroids, along with many bodies of ice and rock, which surround the solar system. From this region, rocky objects often are ejected, then flung inward to become comets. It is when these objects interact with other bodies in-toward The Sun that they can become dangerous items that may be on courses to strike the planets, even Earth!
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