Originally posted by Beachcoma
Really? Then how do you categorize anything in space? Gas giants, brown dwarves, comets, KBOs, planetesimals, cometesimals, asteroids, moons,
planets... all their boundaries seem very faded and undefined. What's the difference between an Oort Cloud an a Kuiper Belt?
Gas giants are planets that are primarily composed of gas. Examples in our own Solar System include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Several have
been found orbiting other stars, as well.
Brown dwarves are simply failed stars. They lacked the mass to create a sustainable fusion reaction. Some people claim that Jupiter is a failed brown
dwarf, and that if something happened then it could become our second sun. Despite popular conspiracy theories with horrible science, it just can't
Comets are small icy bodies that come from the Oort Cloud and into the inner Solar System. There are three types: Short period, having an orbit less
than 75 years; Long period, having an orbit greater than 75 years; and Open, having no orbit and will eventually escape our Solar System. The comets
are nudged from thier homes in the Oort Cloud from collisions with other objects, gravitational waves from other stars, and aliens bent on destroying
the Earth. Only kidding about that last part.
KBOs, or Kuiper Belt Objects, are bodies residing in the Kuiper Belt. More on what that means in a moment.
Planetesimals were early bodies that existed during the forming of the Solar System.
Cometesimals are fragments of a comet. For example, the cometesimals of Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter in 1994.
Asteroids are rocky bodies that have been around since the formation of the Solar System. They primarily lie in the region known as the Asteroid Belt
located between Mars and Jupiter. A fair amount also exist in the Trojan, or Lagrangian, Points of Jupiter's orbit, which lead and trail the planet
by 60 degrees.
Moons are natural objects that orbit another body.
Planets are objects that formed with the rest of the Solar System, have a spherical shape, and are located within the inner parts of the Kuiper Belt,
which is at about the orbit of Neptune.
The Kuiper Belt is primarily within the plane of the Solar System, give or take a few degrees, and contains many, moonsized and smaller bodies of rock
The Oort Cloud envelops the Solar System at its very edges. It may stretch out to a distance of nearly a light year from the Sun. It is the home of
the majority of the Solar System's comets.
All definitions I cam up with as I typed and how memory served me. If you find something I'm wrong about, please let me know. Hope it helps, though.
Neither am I - I do a Google on the ATS domains
That's what I use as well, and half the time I still
end up having trouble finding what I want!