Comparisons Inner Planets vs. Outer Planets Asteroids vs. Comets
Inner vs. Outer Planets Surface Sur. Composition Mass Density Atmosphere Atm. Composition Magnetic field Rotation rate Moons Rings
Asteroids vs. Comets General Planetesimal Properties AsteroidFeatureComets Rock and metal SurfaceIce and rock Between Mars & JupiterMain LocationBeyond Neptune YesMoonsUnknown 0 to 630 milesSize (diameter)0 to 1500 miles???
A Star is Born After the core of the Sun ignited its nuclear fusion reaction, the lighter material like dust and gas was blown away into the outer solar system
Clearing the Inner Solar System Solar Wind – The Sun is constantly sending a stream of material (mostly hydrogen gas) outward at 0.5 to 2.0 million mph. This wind carries the lighter material out to the outer solar system Radiation Pressure – The intense light of the Sun exerts pressure on the lighter material sending it outward into the outer solar system
Kuiper Belt The Kuiper Belt consist of the comets that formed from the same disk that formed the planets 4.6 billion years ago. This group of objects is the source of the short orbit comets. Orbital periods >200 years.
This is not entirely accurate. The spacing between these comet nuclei are millions of miles. Once in a while these cold, frozen objects are disturbed and get sent into the inner solar system where they develop a coma and sprout a long tail of gases and dust
Kuiper Belt Notice the size of these objects compared to the Earth!
Oort Cloud The Oort cloud is not part of the material that made it into the disk so these objects have random orbits that cross the plane. Their orbit can be more than 50,000 years and may appear from anywhere