Oort Cloud Essay

Anita Abnous Instructor Robert Cannon Speech 101 10/23/12 Defining ‘how big is the Solar System’ is the fodder of an ongoing debate among scientists. As humans, we like definitive answers and sure quantitative numbers to bandy about when we talk about anything. Today I am going to talk about some facts about Oort cloud. What is it? Where is it? How it gets started? Oort cloud Facts: -The Oort cloud is the farthest from the Sun that you can go and still be in the Solar System. -It is believed that most comets originate in the Oort cloud before “falling” toward the Sun.

What is the Oort cloud? Scientists think that there is a group of rocks and ice that forms a cloud-like region surrounding our Solar System. It is a collection of comet like objects orbiting far away from the Sun. It is named after a Dutch astronomer Jan Oort who refined and popularized the theory. Regarding to a book named In Quest of the Solar System by Theo Koupelis Jan Oort, in 1927, this Dutch astronomer proved by observation (in the Leiden observatory) that our galaxy is rotating and calculated the distance of the sun from the centre of the galaxy and the period of its orbit.

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In 1950 he suggested the existence of a sphere of incipient cemetery material surrounding the solar system, which is now called the ‘Oort cloud. Although its existence has not yet been proven through direct observation, the reality of the Oort cloud is widely accepted in the scientific community. He proposed that comets detached themselves from this ‘Oort-cloud’ and went into orbit around the sun. From 1940 he carried out notable work in radio astronomy. The Oort cloud is filled with icy objects composed of ammonia, water and methane.

Another astronomer Professor John Matese, of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said most comets come from the same part of the Oort cloud. Dust that orbit the sun in the most distant region of the solar system called the Oort cloud. When a comet (“dirty snowballs” or “icy mud balls. ”) gets knocked out of its orbit, it falls nearer to the sun. He added: “There is statistically significant evidence that this concentration of comets could be caused by a companion to the Sun. ” what is a comet?

A comet is basically an oddly shaped lump of a mixture of ices, from both water and frozen gases, and dust. Comets are composed of five parts: the nucleus, coma, hydrogen cloud, dust tail, and ion tail. The nucleus is pretty solid and stable, composed mostly of ice and gas with a small amount of dust and other solids. Where is the Oort cloud? The comets in the Oort cloud are at distances of 50,000 to 100,000 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. That is 1,000 times further away from the Sun than Pluto is and about one fourth the distance to the nearest star.

Located almost a light-year from the sun. Regarding an article on http://www. universetoday. com/32522/oort-cloud/The Oort cloud is a massive spherical cloud; the size of this cloud is disputed by different astronomers. Some believe that it begins at 2000 or 5000 astronomical units–an astronomical unit (AU) equals the distance between the Earth and the Sun–and ends at 50,000 AU, which is almost a light-year. Others think that it may extend to over 100,000 AU, which means its edge would extend to nearly the end of the Solar System. How did the Oort cloud start?

Regarding the interview with an astronomy instructor Miss Deborah Levine in Glendale community collage on Monday October 8 at 9:30 pm, The Oort cloud objects may have started closer to the Sun during the Solar System’s formation. Then gas giants pulled them far away with their gravity. The Oort cloud objects were sent in all directions, making the Oort cloud ball shaped instead of disk shaped. The gravity of other stars made the objects’ orbits more circular, making the objects stay far away from the Sun. Maybe the gravity of other stars can sometimes send the objects back toward the Sun.

We would see them as comets. Dust-Cloud Theory: Between 1940 and 1955 the German astronomer Carl f. von Weizsaccker, the Dutch-American astronomer Gerald P. Kuiper and the U. S. chemist Harold C. Urey worked out a theory that tried to explain all the characteristics of the solar system. According to their dust-cloud theory, the solar system was formed from a slowly rotating cloud of dust and gas that contracted and started to rotate faster in its outer parts, where eddies formed. These eddies were small near the center of the cloud and larger at greater distances from the center.

The distances corresponded more or less to the Titius-Bode relation. Regarding the article on http://www. edinformatics. com/math_science/ one object is covered so far is Sedna. It is 1,180 to 1,800 km across. Its orbit stretches from 76 to 928 times Earth’s distance from the Sun (As I mentioned before this distance between earth and Sun is called astronomical unit ). Sedna takes about 11,250 Earth years to orbit the Sun once. The last time Sedna was where it is now in its orbit; Earth’s last Ice Age was ending! Conclusion: Today I explain to you what is Oort cloud, how far it is?

And how it gets started? Because the Oort cloud is so much farther out than the Kuiper Belt, it has not been as fully explored as the Kuiper Belt. Additionally, astronomers have been unable to identify objects to the degree that they have in the Kuiper Belt. In fact, aside from long-period comets, astronomers have only found four objects that, from the objects’ orbits, they believe came from the Oort cloud. Unfortunately, there is no chance of scientists examining the Oort cloud up close and proving its existence anytime soon.

Only recently was a spacecraft launched to examine the Kuiper Belt – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft – so it’ll most likely be decades before any craft can be sent to the Oort cloud. According my interview with astronomy instructor Miss Deborah Levine there is no real picture of Oort cloud and whatever we see in websites is what astronomers and scientists came up with about Oort cloud shape. Artist’s impression of the Oort cloud. (NASA/JPL) A Diagram showing approximately how far away the Oort cloud might be in relation to the planets of the Solar System