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THE STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE OORT CLOUD

The composition of the Oort cloud is almost similar to that of the Kuiper Belt. This is because it also contains a huge reservoir of Neptunian objects. The cloud occupies a vast area in the outer solar system as it stretches from 2, 000 AU all the way up to 50, 000 AU with reference to the position of the Sun (Williams, 2018).

Oort cloud’s edge extends as far as 100,000 AU or 200, 000 AU from the Sun and into space the deep cold space. This cloud is not one homogeneous sphere but it is actually divided into 2 regions, one into another (Planets, 2018).

These regions have different shapes as outer one is spherical in nature and it can extend a distance of 20,000 AU up to 50,000 AU. This outer region harbors objects that can be trillions in terms of numbers and measure more than 1 km across (Williams, 2018). Objects larger than 20km across are also present although in smaller numbers as compared to their smaller counterparts. The inner region is disc shaped and it can measure from 2, 000 to 20,000 AU (Williams, 2018).

After a thorough study being conducted on comets, which are thought to be the major inhabitants of the Oort cloud. It was concluded that the cloud is made up of objects mainly dominated by icy volatiles.

The volatiles are defined by water, ammonia, carbon monoxide, ethane, methane and hydrogen cyanide. Asteroids can also be found in the cloud although in very small numbers, they make an approximated 3% of the total number of objects (Planets, 2018).

REFERENCES

  • Planets, T. (2018, October 28). Oort Cloud Facts. Retrieved from The Planets: https://theplanets.org/oort-cloud/

Williams, M. (2018, October 28). What is the Oort Cloud. Retrieved from Universe Today: https://www.universetoday.com/32522/oort-cloud/

Angelina's Note:

Blog (3 out 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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