Asteroids, comets and Kuiper belt

Definition

Asteroids, comets and Kuiper belt are bodies smaller than planets that orbit the sun. Asteroids are composed of metals and rock, whereas comets also contain ice and dust. The Kuiper belt is a collection of such bodies that orbits at the edge of the solar system.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Observations of a stellar occultation of Haumea, one of the four known trans-Neptunian dwarf planets, constrain its size, shape and density, and reveal a ring coplanar with Haumea’s largest moon.

    • J. L. Ortiz
    • , P. Santos-Sanz
    • , B. Sicardy
    • , G. Benedetti-Rossi
    • , D. Bérard
    • , N. Morales
    • , R. Duffard
    • , F. Braga-Ribas
    • , U. Hopp
    • , C. Ries
    • , V. Nascimbeni
    • , F. Marzari
    • , V. Granata
    • , A. Pál
    • , C. Kiss
    • , T. Pribulla
    • , R. Komžík
    • , K. Hornoch
    • , P. Pravec
    • , P. Bacci
    • , M. Maestripieri
    • , L. Nerli
    • , L. Mazzei
    • , M. Bachini
    • , F. Martinelli
    • , G. Succi
    • , F. Ciabattari
    • , H. Mikuz
    • , A. Carbognani
    • , B. Gaehrken
    • , S. Mottola
    • , S. Hellmich
    • , F. L. Rommel
    • , E. Fernández-Valenzuela
    • , A. Campo Bagatin
    • , S. Cikota
    • , A. Cikota
    • , J. Lecacheux
    • , R. Vieira-Martins
    • , J. I. B. Camargo
    • , M. Assafin
    • , F. Colas
    • , R. Behrend
    • , J. Desmars
    • , E. Meza
    • , A. Alvarez-Candal
    • , W. Beisker
    • , A. R. Gomes-Junior
    • , B. E. Morgado
    • , F. Roques
    • , F. Vachier
    • , J. Berthier
    • , T. G. Mueller
    • , J. M. Madiedo
    • , O. Unsalan
    • , E. Sonbas
    • , N. Karaman
    • , O. Erece
    • , D. T. Koseoglu
    • , T. Ozisik
    • , S. Kalkan
    • , Y. Guney
    • , M. S. Niaei
    • , O. Satir
    • , C. Yesilyaprak
    • , C. Puskullu
    • , A. Kabas
    • , O. Demircan
    • , J. Alikakos
    • , V. Charmandaris
    • , G. Leto
    • , J. Ohlert
    • , J. M. Christille
    • , R. Szakáts
    • , A. Takácsné Farkas
    • , E. Varga-Verebélyi
    • , G. Marton
    • , A. Marciniak
    • , P. Bartczak
    • , T. Santana-Ros
    • , M. Butkiewicz-Bąk
    • , G. Dudziński
    • , V. Alí-Lagoa
    • , K. Gazeas
    • , L. Tzouganatos
    • , N. Paschalis
    • , V. Tsamis
    • , A. Sánchez-Lavega
    • , S. Pérez-Hoyos
    • , R. Hueso
    • , J. C. Guirado
    • , V. Peris
    •  & R. Iglesias-Marzoa
    Nature 550, 219–223
  • Reviews |

    The New Horizons spacecraft performed a flyby of Pluto and its system in July 2015, providing more than 50 Gb of high-resolution images and data that transformed our view and understanding of the dwarf planet. This Review summarizes its main discoveries.

    • Catherine B. Olkin
    • , Kimberly Ennico
    •  & John Spencer
    Nature Astronomy 1, 663–670
  • Research |

    Analysis based on high-resolution observations from the Hubble Space Telescope shows that the asteroid 288P is a binary main-belt comet, with properties unlike any known binary asteroid.

    • Jessica Agarwal
    • , David Jewitt
    • , Max Mutchler
    • , Harold Weaver
    •  & Stephen Larson
    Nature 549, 357–359
  • Research | | open

    The Dawn spacecraft has provided orbital bistatic radar observations of a small body in the solar system. Here, the authors present results from Vesta suggesting that smooth terrains with heightened hydrogen concentrations indicate that ground-ice presence potentially helped shape Vesta’s current surface texture.

    • Elizabeth M. Palmer
    • , Essam Heggy
    •  & Wlodek Kofman

News and Comment