Outer fringes of our planetary realm

Outer fringes of our planetary realm

Fig. 15.5 . The orbits of major planets in our solar system are shown in large light blue circles; the outermost circle denotes the orbit of Neptune and the current location of each planet is marked by a large dark-blue symbol. The current locations of the minor bodies of the outer solar system are shown in different colors to denote different classes of objects. Unusual high-eccentricity objects are shown as cyan triangles, Centaur objects as orange triangles, Plutoids, a subcategory of dwarf planets, as white circles, and Pluto itself as the large white symbol. Scattered-disk objects are denoted as small magenta circles, and "classical" or "main-belt" objects as small red circles. Objects observed at only one opposition are denoted by open symbols, objects with multiple-opposition orbits are denoted by filled symbols. Filled light-blue squares denote numbered periodic comets; other comets are shown as unfilled light-blue squares. This plot was prepared on 12 February 2010. (Courtesy of Gareth Williams, Minor Planet Center.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University