EAS Publications Series
Volume 41, 2010Physics and Astrophysics of Planetary Systems
|Page(s)||367 - 377|
|Published online||08 January 2010|
T. Montmerle, D. Ehrenreich and A.-M. Lagrange (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 41 (2010) 367-377
An introduction to the Kuiper Belt dynamics and collisional evolution
Équipe AIM, CEA SAp Université Paris 7, Centre de L'Orme Les Merisiers, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
The existence of an outer belt of small bodies in the Solar System has been inferred for long. Since the first direct observation of a Kuiper Belt Object in 1992, an intensive observational and modeling effort has been made to understand the origin and evolution of the Kuiper Belt. A wealth of information is hidden in both its dynamical structure and size distribution, that we begin to unveil thanks to a complementary approach of numerical simulation and observational surveys. We review below the main structures and physical properties of the Kuiper Belt and the implications for what concern the evolution of the Solar System, after the depletion of the Solar Nebula. The Kuiper Belt can be also considered as the post-planetary disk of the Solar System, so its study helps also to better understand debris disk observed around stars our galaxy.
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010
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