The Kuiper belt (Template:IPAc-en or Template:IPA-nl),[1] occasionally called the Edgeworth–Kuiper belt, is a circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun.[2] It is similar to the asteroid belt, but is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive.[3][4] Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly of small bodies or remnants from when the Solar System formed. While many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed "ices"), such as methane, ammonia and water. The Kuiper belt is home to three officially recognized dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Some of the Solar System's moons, such as Neptune's Triton and Saturn's Phoebe, may have originated in the region.[5][6]


  1. Kuiper belt –
  2. Stern, Alan; Colwell, Joshua E. (1997). "Collisional Erosion in the Primordial Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt and the Generation of the 30–50 AU Kuiper Gap". The Astrophysical Journal 490 (2): 879–82. doi:10.1086/304912. Bibcode1997ApJ...490..879S. 
  3. Delsanti, Audrey; Jewitt, David. "The Solar System Beyond The Planets" (PDF). Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii. Archived from the original on September 25, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2007. 
  4. Krasinsky, G. A.; Pitjeva, E. V.; Vasilyev, M. V.; Yagudina, E. I. (July 2002). "Hidden Mass in the Asteroid Belt". Icarus 158 (1): 98–105. doi:10.1006/icar.2002.6837. Bibcode2002Icar..158...98K. 
  5. Johnson, Torrence V.; and Lunine, Jonathan I.; Saturn's moon Phoebe as a captured body from the outer Solar System, Nature, Vol. 435, pp. 69–71
  6. Craig B. Agnor; Douglas P. Hamilton (2006). "Neptune's capture of its moon Triton in a binary-planet gravitational encounter". Nature. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2006.