Scattered disc

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Eris, the biggest minor planet in the scattered disc

The scattered disc (or scattered disk) is a distant part of the solar system. The area has small icy minor planets known as scattered disc objects (SDOs). The part of the scattered disc closest to the sun is in an area of space called the Kuiper belt.[1] The Oort cloud lies beyond the scattered disc. The first SDO was found in 1995 by Spacewatch.

The scattered disk is still not understood well. Astronomers believe that it was created when objects in the Kuiper belt were "scattered" by the gravity of the outer planets, mainly Neptune. Unlike most objects in the Solar System which move in a round and flat path, scattered disc objects go every which way. Different SDOs have different orbital eccentricity and orbital inclination.

References[change | change source]

  1. Alessandro Morbidelli (2005). "Origin and dynamical evolution of comets and their reservoirs". arXiv:astro-ph/0512256.