Aiigghhtt lets talk about the Kuiper belt
OK so I hear alot of people being sad and complaining about Pluto not being a planet anymore (honestly, it makes me sad too) but there is actually a good reason for it!
Ok, so something must match three criteria before its defined as a planet:
- must orbit the sun (check)
- must have a mass large enough to get the rounded shape (check)
- must have its orbit cleared/clearing the neighborhood around its orbit ( UH OH)
That’s because recently they discovered the Kuiper belt which Pluto is part of. A basic description of the Kuiper belt would be that it is basically all the shit left over from when the planets formed (the solar system landfill, if you will)
Astronomers are , like, constantly finding Pluto sized dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt (like Eris and Makemake) and there are probably hundreds or thousands of them in there
It is suspected that at least another fifty known objects in the Solar System are dwarf planets, and estimates are that up to 200 dwarf planets may be found when the entire region known as the Kuiper belt is explored, and that the number might be as high as 2,000 when objects scattered outside the Kuiper belt are considered.
Dwarf planet Makemake is nothing but an airless planet of frozen rock
Even with the most powerful telescopes, astronomers can’t get a good look at the incredibly distant Kuiper Belt dwarf planets at the edge of the solar system. We can get fleeting glimpses, but they’re so far out, the best we can do is to apply techniques we would use to try and glimpse at stars on the other side of the galaxy.