From the National Geographic: Exploring Space
I am learning about all kinds of things floating around up there that I had no idea existed. There’s this Asteroid Vesta that was just offhandedly mentioned. It’s in the Asteroid Belt, which I did know about. I guess it got pummeled by another asteroid at some point and all its debris has come to Earth.
And then there’s the Oort Cloud. It is way, way, way out there. 3000 times the distance of Pluto’s orbit from the Sun. It is made up of a bunch of comets still somehow under the sun’s control and orbiting. They think that’s the final edge of our solar system. It also marks the halfway point to the closest star to us. It kind of makes the planets around us seem closer even though they are still way, way far away. I had never heard of this Oort Cloud that I can recall, but it’s pretty cool. Like an asteroid belt of comets.
Oh, and NG has also told me that apparently all of the planets orbits are not permanent tracks but are changable. There’s a gas giant like Jupiter in another system that had somehow jumped off its track and made a new orbit that spins super fast and out of control, zips close to its star and then slingshots way out. That sounds like a crazy place. But what could have made it do that. I think alien interference.