Lost in Space – Tour of Our Solar System #3


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Image of Kuieper Belt and Oort Cloud

Image of Kuieper Belt and Oort Cloud

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      Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today, if I had followed my celestial plan, we would have come to ‘Earth’. Earth is the home of our birth, and cradle of mankind. You see the progression, in our solar system, coming out from the Sun is; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars. Then, it occurred to me, maybe I am headed about this all wrong. Here’s my reasoning, My Dear Readers, we live on Earth, and we live out our entire lives on this galactic rock orbiting the Sun. What, pray tell, could I write (about Earth) that would engage you, My Dear Readers? Not much, heck we cannot all agree about the scientific reality that is ‘Global Warming’ aka ‘Climatic Shift’.

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Since, we are a people (Americans) and we as a species (human beings – homo sapien) cannot find agreement on a simple scientific fact, what is there that I could share about our orb? That left me with quite the quandary, My Dear Readers. You see, Earth is not really an exciting venture for this article series, at least not yet. Then, logically and following the progression of planets in our solar system… keeping to our ‘Tour of Our Solar System’?

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Mars. Mars would have been the next planet that I would write about, here at The Other Shoe for the series ‘Lost In Space’. Well, if you are completely new to ‘The Other Shoe’ you might not realize that each week I already do a whole article about Mars. It is called ‘The Mars Report’. It was the article I started this week, with. ARRUUUGGGHHH!

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Can’t do Earth, we live here… that’s boring. Already do Mars, why beat a dead dog? Danny was left with quite a quandary. That was until I just watched a special (on Netflix) about our Solar System and learned something new. As a boy I was taught that, out beyond our nine planets, lay a ‘Meteor Belt’. This belt is where most comets originated and it was the last barrier between our solar system and ‘Deep Space’.

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I am happy to announce that what I was taught, considering it was the 60’s – 70’s, was true then and is true today. However, the belt is called the ‘Kuiper Belt’. As well, it is not the very last frontier of our solar system. That distinction, My Dear Readers, belongs to the ‘Oort Cloud’. Today, My Dear Readers, I am going to take us on a quick tour of the planets then out to visit the ‘Kuiper Belt’ and the ‘Oort Cloud’! Then, as each week passes, My Dear Readers, I will take us back through our solar system. This way, we visit the outer planets and the Jovian planets, first. However, to get to these planets let’s take a quick visual tour of the planets as we head out of the inner core of our solar system.

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Our HOME, Earth

Our HOME, Earth

(Our HOME, Earth)

Let us start with the planet of our birth, Earth. This is where we were to start today, until I turned our Ship of the Stars on a new course. Next stop… Mars.

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Mars, ‘The Red Planet’

Mars, ‘The Red Planet’

(Mars, ‘The Red Planet’)

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We leave the orbit of the planet of our birth, to pull our Ship of the Stars into orbit of our nearest planet. Now, as many of you, My Dear Readers, know we visit this planet every single week. We visit with my series of articles names ‘The Mars Report’. Just click on the link, behind you, and check out the latest edition of this wonderful series. Now, we leave the orbit of Mars, headed for our next solar destination. However, to get to our next destination of Jupiter we must pass through the ‘Asteroid Belt’!

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The ‘Asteroid Belt’ is a ring of; dust, rock, ice crystals and the remnants of the ‘planet building’ of the early millennium of our solar system. Some speculate that the ‘Asteroid Belt’ is what remains from the building of the inner ‘terrestrial’ planets. It acts as a border between the inner terrestrial planets and the outer gaseous Jovian planets of the outer reaches of our solar system. Below is an image of the ‘Asteroid Belt’. Man has not passed this ‘Asteroid Belt’ but many of man’s spacecraft (probes) have safely passed through this dense and dangerous belt of terrestrial debris.

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Asteroid Belt

Asteroid Belt

(Asteroid Belt)

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Before we go I need to introduce a little bit of knowledge for the rest of our journey. The distances, getting to and between the Jovian giants… well, these distances are just far to great to be measured in simple miles.

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Therefore, I would like to introduce you, My Dear Readers, to another measurement. One used by astronauts and astrophysicists, this unit is called an ‘Astronomical Unit’ or ‘A.U.’. An AU is the distance from our Sun, to Earth. This equates to roughly 93 million miles[1]. From here on out, I will be using this A.U. to tell you just how far we are traveling.

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The largest of the Jovian ‘Giants’, Jupiter! Jupiter orbits the sun at 5.2 A.U.s from the sun.

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Jovian Planet – Jupiter

Jovian Planet – Jupiter

(Jovian Planet – Jupiter)

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Now, My Dear Readers, we leave behind the terrestrial planets and move outwards to the Giant Jovian planets. The obvious differences between the terrestrial planets and the Jovian planetsare the surfaces. Like Earth, the terrestrial planets have solid surfaces, terra. The ‘Giant’ Jovian planets have gaseous surfaces. All of these Jovian ‘Giants’ withgaseous surfaces and cores, which are much denser than our own. We leave, in our Ship of the Stars, from Jupiter further and further away from Earth and the Sun and on to SATURN!

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Saturn

Saturn

(Saturn)

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Remember, My Dear Readers, that we will be revisiting all of these Jovian Giants yet, for today, we are just passing them by for the outer reaches of our Solar System. Our next stop is Saturn, at 9.54 A.U.s. This is the most dominate of the ‘Ringed Planets’. Of all our Jovian brethren, I believe that mankind has studied and watched Saturn more than any other. Even me, I have shared ‘news’ about Saturn and the ‘Great White Storm’ growing smaller over the past several years. Did you, My Dear Readers, know Jupiter has a ‘Great Red Spot’? Now, we come to Uranus.

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Uranus

Uranus

(Uranus)

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At 19.2 A.U.s we are now more than One Billion seven hundred million miles from the Sun. The sun’s influence, as far as radiant heat, wanes to nearly non-existent. Not only are these giant Jovian planets gaseous, they are frigid. In the image above we can clearly see that Uranus, too, has a ring. Ice crystals and remnants of dust particles left over from the creation of this planet. The further we get, from the sun, the more we see just how the inner terrestrial planets were formed. By the collision, and adhesion of; dust, rock, and ice crystals. This is how all of the planets in our solar system were formed. Now we leave the orbit of Uranus, in our Ship of the Stars, an set our course for the next Jovian giant, Neptune.

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Neptune

Neptune

(Neptune)

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At 30.1 A.U.s from the sun, Neptune hangs on the very thinnest of gravity threads to our mother, Sun. Little, if any, of the sun’s radiant heat makes it out to he last of our Jovian giants, and the last full sized planet in our solar system. As I have mentioned, earlier, Pluto (just recently) lost its designation as a planet of our solar system. In my lifetime; America gained two states, and my solar system lost one planet. Well, I am going to stick my head in the sands and refuse to acknowledge that change. I will be including Pluto in our ‘Tour of Our Solar System’ as a full-fledged planet. Now we steer our Ship of the Stars out of the orbit of Neptune and head to the furthest planet of our solar system, Pluto.

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Pluto

Pluto

(Pluto)

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At 39.5 A.U.s Pluto is the furthest body, in our solar system, from the sun. Now referred to as a ‘Dwarf Planet’ and a part of the Kuiper Belt. There we have it, My Dear Readers; we have arrived at the ‘Kuiper Belt’! What used to be known as the ‘Meteor Belt’ it is the home for all the meteors that travel through our solar system. What meteors that do not originate from the Kuiper, come from the next destination in our travels. The Kuiper Belt!

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The Kuiper Belt with Haley’s Comet Path Marked

The Kuiper Belt with Haley’s Comet Path Marked

(The Kuiper Belt with Haley’s Comet Path Marked)

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Roughly 50 A.U.s from the sun the Kuiper Belt extends from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 A.U.) all the way out to 50 A.U.s. Easily twenty times the size of the ‘Asteroid Belt’ and Two Hundred times as massive[2]. The Kuiper Belt is home to three ‘Dwarf Planet’s; Pluto, Haumea[3], and Makemake[4]. The Kuiper Belt is quite real and was discovered in 1992, by astronomers Kenneth Edgeworth[5] and Gerard Kuiper[6]. However, our next destination… has never been seen!

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Comets Come From Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt

Comets Come From Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt

(Comets Come From Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt)

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Our final destination today, My Dear Readers, is the ‘Oort Cloud’! As I mentioned, above, there are no ‘pictures’ of or Hubble Images’ of the ‘Oort Cloud’. At 50,000 A.U.s (that is a thousand times the distance to the Kuiper Belt) it is imagined to stretch out to a quarter of the distance to Proxima Centauri[7], the nearest star to the Sun. If the ‘Oort Cloud’ does exist it would be the single largest accumulation of mass outside of the sun. Now, My Dear Readers, I am going to share a little more astronomical knowledge of our solar system.

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Oort Comet Cloud

Oort Comet Cloud

(Oort Comet Cloud)

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There are two types of comets, which roam our solar system. These are; Short Period Comets (also known as ‘Periodic Comets’[8]), and ‘Long Period Comets’. Short period or ‘Periodic’ comets have orbital periods of 200 years or less. On the other hand, Long Period comets have orbital periods of more than 200 years. Many speculate that these Short Period or ‘Periodic’ comets originate in the Kuiper Belt. The Long Period comets originate in the Oort Cloud, and many times are actually thrown into existence (into a orbit around the sun) by passing star or giant molecular cloud.[9] Bottom line, My Dear Readers, all of the comets that travel through our solar system have originated in either the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud.

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Outer Solar System- Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

Outer Solar System- Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

(Outer Solar System- Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud)

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Everything, that yet has been formed into the eight planets or three ‘Dwarf Planets’, now occupies the ‘Kuiper Belt’ and/or the ‘Oort Cloud’. It is safe to postulate that the object that ended the one hundred sixty-five Million year reign of the dinosaurs! If the reign of mankind were to be brought to an end, by the strike of an immense comet, that comet would come from wither the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud. Today was the first time that I had heard of the ‘Oort Cloud’.

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Oort Cloud Large Image

Oort Cloud Large Image

(Oort Cloud Large Image)

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My Dear Readers, I have taken the time to introduce you to; the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud for one reason. It is my opinion that mankind would be well served to focus a great deal of resources on monitoring these two distant formations of our solar system. That mankind’s future, our very existence, could depend on just how well we monitor these two far-flung formations of our solar system. The best way to guard the future of our species, the longevity of mankind, is to diligently watcher and monitor; the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.

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Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud

(Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud)

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That, My Dear Readers, brings us to the very outer limits of our Solar System. We have reached out and ‘seen’ the outer limits of our science, and the reach of mankind. From here, My Dear Readers, I plan to bring us back to visit the ‘Dwarf Planets’, then our Jovian brothers, and finally back to visit the final two terrestrial planets that I skipped past, today. Today… I wanted to challenge the limits of my reach, my ability to share the outer most reaches of our solar system. Then, I plan on bringing us all back to where we began, where all of mankind began. To our home, right here on Earth.

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I hope that everyone has enjoyed this “Tour of Our Solar System’ in our imaginary ‘Ship of the Stars’. Today was a special effort, by me, and a very special edition of ‘Lost In Space’. I know that I am quite late in publishing this gargantuan edition. For that, I apologize. However, starting very early tomorrow I will be promoting this publication of this edition of ‘Lost In Space’. Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I have planned the publication of another edition of ‘News from Around the World’.

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I look forward to having you visit me, right here, at The Other Shoe. As well, so as to not have my scientific endevours here outshine my creative? This Friday… I have planned… the publication of the single most; intense, scary, frightening and violent episodes of ‘The Horror in Smithville’. Then, next Friday, will see the publication of the single longest episode of “The Horror in Smithville’ to date! My Dear Readers, I am putting in long and hard hours here at The Other Shoe as we approach my 500th Article! Later this week, or the first of next week, I will publish my 500th Article!

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I look forward to sharing that celebration with as many readers as is possible. PLEASE won’t you take a moment and ‘Share’ with your family, your friends, your loved ones, your co-workers, and your neighbors the wonder and enjoyment that is reading ‘The Other Shoe’? I am sure that they, too, will find my blog to be both entertaining and informative. Until tomorrow…

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!
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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

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http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

 

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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

3 Responses to Lost in Space – Tour of Our Solar System #3

  1. Pingback: A Week in Review – June 28th, 2014 | The Other Shoe

  2. Pingback: FIVE HUNDRED ARTICLES a Reveiw & Celebration! #1 | The Other Shoe

  3. Pingback: FIVE HUNDRED ARTICLES a Reveiw & Celebration! #1 Redux | The Other Shoe

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