70,000 Years Ago A Rogue Star Passed Through the Solar System

Like piecing together a car accident, by looking at the results of a collision in space, we can use our knowledge of science to piece together the past and determine what happened to a high degree of accuracy.  The velocity of a star, along with high powered computer simulations and statistical techniques, can help us determine where it once was.  But since space is so vast, why do we care where stars have moved? The short answer is that there are so many stars out there that we don’t often care where individual stars have moved.  Some exceptions are when...

Asteroid Belt vs. Kuiper Belt vs. Oort Cloud

Ever wondered the difference? The Asteroid Belt, shown above, consists of hundreds of thousands of rocks, with all kinds of different shapes, ranging in size from the Dwarf Planet Ceres at 950 Km in Diameter, down to small bits the size of dust particles.  It lies between Mars and Jupiter. The Kuiper Belt (pronounced Kai-per) consists of Icy rocks, and it a major source of short-period Comets in the Solar system.  Extending beyond the planet Neptune, Pluto was discovered to be one of the largest objects in the belt. The mysterious Oort cloud is a collection of Comets, thought to...