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ORIGIN AND DISCOVERY OF THE OORT CLOUD

The Oort cloud is a spherical icy shell comprising of a large group of comets. These comets occur in billions or trillions in the outermost regions of the solar system. This cloud is believed to have been part of material that occupied the regions around the sun, some of which led to the formation of planets.  The material that remained took disk-like formation. This group of primeval objects that formed into a disc is known as the protoplanetary disk (Edward, 2002).

 

The sun was very young at that point and the planets were still forming.

Figure 1the Oort cloud. Image Courtesy of Fandom

 

Later on, as large planets such as Jupiter were fully formed and took their present positions, their gravitational forces made the remnants to scatter towards the outer edges of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago (Redd, 2018).  This is how the material took a spherical, icy and shelly formation around the solar system.

The existence of the Oort cloud was discovered in 1950 by a Dutch astronomer known as Jan Hendrik Oort. Although not through telescopic observation, but a theory (Redd, 2018).

REFERENCES

  • Edward, H. (2002). The Oort Cloud. New England Review, 73-85.

Redd, N. T. (2018, October 27). Oort Cloud: The Outer Solar System's Icy Shell. Retrieved from Space.com: https://www.space.com/16401-oort-cloud-the-outer-solar-system-s-icy-shell.html

 

Angelina's Note:

Blog (1out of 6) for my Astronomy Class with Professor Micheal Marks.

Bristol Community College, Fall River MA   Fall/Winter 2018

Major: Graphic Design


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