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The Oort cloud

Abstract

Although the outermost planet, Pluto, is 6xl09km from the Sun, the Sun's gravitational sphere of influence extends much further, out to 2x1013 km. This space is occupied by the Oort cloud, comprising 1012–1013 cometary nuclei, formed in the primordial solar nebula. Observations and computer modelling have contributed to a detailed understanding of the structure and dynamics of the cloud, which is thought to be the source of the long-period comets and possibly comet showers.

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Weissman, P. The Oort cloud. Nature 344, 825–830 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/344825a0

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