The Kuiper Belt

How we are all going to die

What is it?

A region of the solar system beyond the orbit of Neptune, believed to contain many comets,asteroids, and other small bodies made largely of ice.


What Is The Kuiper Belt?

Location

It is located between the orbit of Neptune and the old planet of Pluto.

The Kuiper belt is a band of billions of icy asteroids beyond Neptune that

are nearly pristine examples of the solar system's ingredients.Two spacecraft are on

missions to probe the belt's secrets. One, called Rosetta, is orbiting a comet that

was born in the Kuiper belt. The other, New Horizons, is en route to Pluto, the region's

largest resident.By studying the makeup of the Kuiper belt, these missions could hold

the key to the solar system's origins.
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Description

For a real chill, look to the Kuiper belt, a zone just beyond Neptune that contains roughly 100,000 ice-balls more than 50 miles in diameter. The Kuiper belt sends a steady rain of small comets earthward. If one of the big ones headed right for us, that would be it for pretty much all higher forms of life, even cockroaches.


Spotting this illumination difference in the optical band would be tricky but by calculating the observed flux from solar illumination on Kuiper Belt Objects with a typical albedo, the team is confident that existing telescopes and surveys could detect the artificial light from a reasonably brightly illuminated region, roughly the size of a terrestrial city, located on a KBO. Even though the light signature would be weaker, it would still carry the dead give-away – the spectral signature.

this is talking about how there might be aliens on the kuiper belt.
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The Contents of the Kuiper Belt

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Ice Bodies

There may be are hundreds of thousands of icy bodies larger than 100 km (62 miles) and an estimated trillion or more comets within the Kuiper Belt. The Oort Cloud may contain more than a trillion icy bodies.
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How we die...

As a consequence, many of the shards probably made their way to the inner solar system, and a few have undoubtedly hit Earth in the past. The study thus provides new ideas about how the solar system evolves, and how comets fit into the big picture.

Gladly, the chances of such a super comet actually hitting the Earth are vanishingly small.

The Earth is only a tiny pea in the vastness of the Universe, and is “protected” against incoming comets by the gravitational fields of other planets. But then again, full impact is not the biggest threat the Kuiper Belt poses. As a Kuiper Belt comet comes rushing into its icy surface


As a Kuiper Belt comet comes rushing in, its icy surface will heat up. Eventually, when it comes too close to the Sun, it will explode. Its remains will be scattered all over the place. The dust will be attracted by the Sun's gravity, and clot together into a temporary ring of dust around the Sun. The debris will block some of the Sun's heat. And when that happens, we're in big, big trouble.

Temperatures on Earth will drop rapidly. The dust will trigger an Ice Age on Earth. Oh, and then there's the realistic danger our planet is hit by comets after all, with all those chunks of comet debris flying around in our part of the solar system.

Obviously, what grim destiny exactly awaits us depends on a lot of things. Many of them are determined by pure chance. One particular nasty Kuiper Belt scenario involves an all-out Ice Age, in which so much of the Sun's heat is blocked that the entire Earth turns into a barren, frozen planet. The Earth's climate thermostat (being the intricate interplay between oceans, land, vegetation and algae) would be severely deregulated. It would take the planet hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years to recover. Of course, the chances of survival would be slim in a stone-cold world with frozen oceans and no soil to grow your food on.

But here's the good news: with or without humans, the planet eventually will survive. It did so before. In the Pre-Cambrian age (more than 600 million years ago), the Earth survived several super Ice Ages. But then again, in those days the most complicated life forms on the planet were tiny shrimps and snails, crawling around in the deepest depths of the ocean.

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