Kuiper Belt

The Kuiper belt contains many rocky bodies and is thought to be the origin of many short-period comets. Few of the known Kuiper belt objects have been shown to have frozen water, however, but may have ices of other compositions. The total mass of asteroids in the Kuiper belt is estimated at about 20 percent of Earth's mass, about 100 times as much as the mass of the main asteroid belt.

Formerly classified as a planet, Pluto, and its moon, Charon, are Kuiper belt objects. Pluto is one of the larger Kuiper belt objects, but its size is not anomalous for the belt—there are thought to be thousands of Kuiper belt objects with diameters greater than 600 miles (1,000 km), 70,000 asteroids or comets with diameters greater than 60 miles (1,000 km) and half a million objects with diameters greater than 30 miles (50 km). saturn's moon Phoebe is an icy captured asteroid that was deflected inward from the Kuiper belt and gravitationally captured by saturn. Its surface shows a mixture of dusty rock debris and ice.

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