If I ask you: “How many stars are there in the sky?” You surely come with an answer: The universe is infinite. Do you have a second thought, guess no. This is like a cliche theory in our knowledge. But is it really so? Can we bind your mind? You know, let’s try to narrow it down or see if the chances are really so slim?
Stephen Hawking in his book “The Universe in a Nutshell” calls into questions: “Is the Universe really infinite or just very large? Is it eternal or just has a great life time? How can our finite mind know the infinite Universe?”
To discover it, scientists have launched an interplanetary space probe “New Horizons” as a part of NASA‘s New Frontiers program. The primary mission is to perform a study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary one is to fly by and study one or more other objects of the Kuiper belt.
“New Horizons” was launched On January 19, 2006, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a speed of about 16.26 km/s. It was the fastest man-made object ever launched from Earth.
The Kuiper Belt is an icy world on the edge of the solar system,composed of small astronomical bodies left over from the Big Bang.It is an outer space of small objects like dwarf stars, dwarf planets and others.Many of them are smaller than the moon.The belt extends from the orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 AU from the sun and looks like a doughnut: plump and round.How does that feel,huh? To live in a space dougnnut with a star toppings!It has been discovered a lot of objects in the Kuiper Belt so far. The most known are dwarf planets such as Makemake, Ceres, Eris and of course Pluto.
One of the objects of the Kuiper Belt is Pluto. It is a dwarf planet belonging to the Kuiper Belt. They have a thin atmosphere that collapses as the planet moves away from the Sun. Some of them possess tiny moons that are bigger than Pluto. Resulting from this, Pluto was “disqualified” and lost his status as a planet in 2006. It is perfectly clear as there can be no life in the icy world.
Astronomers have only been assuming the existence of objects outside Pluto. Disputes have been going on through all the twentieth century. In 1943, Kenneth Edgeworth hypothesized that comets crashing through the solar system are celestial bodies living outside the outer boundary. For unknown reasons, they drop out the usual places and travel closer to the Sun. The Kuiper Belt got its name from Gerard Kuiper. The astronomer revealed the possibility of having a disk with a lot of icy bodies, which are under the strong influence of Pluto. He assumed that Pluto scattered the bodies to the distant Oort cloud.
The Oort Cloud is a hypothetical spherical cloud that orbit the sun around 100,000 AU, at the outer limits of the sun’s gravitational field and the limits of our solar system. The cloud is composed of icy planetesimals and lies about midway between the sun and Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to our sun.
As scientist continued discovering more icy planetoids in the orbits of Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, the hypothesis of a huge accumulation of such bodies grew stronger and patiently waited for confirmation. David Juit and Jane Lou who has been photographing and studying the emptiness of the belt were the first to find a pushy evidence. In August 1992, they saw the first object of the Kuiper belt, six months later appeared the second one. Now, during the study of famous bodies, they continue to discover more and more of them.
So are we on the edge or not?… Are there any stars over the new horizon? Not the worst case scenario to be trapped in an icy doughnut! The only thing that our Cosmonova team can say for sure is that we will always find you a star in this Solar System or behind it…