Classical Kuiper Belt Objects

Classical KBOs are those having orbits with modest eccentricities and semimajor axes roughly in the 40 to 47 AU range. They are defined as a group by their long-term stability - they simply never approach Neptune closely enough to have been ejected over the age of the Solar system.

The name "Classical" was coined by me to reflect the fact that the near-circular orbits of these bodies are, amongst the known KBOs, the closest to expectations from dynamical models existing when the Kuiper belt was discovered. These models predicted that the Kuiper belt would be thin (it is very thick) and the orbits of KBOs would be nearly circular (most are highly elliptical). The "Classical" label means that these objects are the closest to this 'classical' expectation.

The first example of a Classical KBO was the first recognised KBO: 1992 QB1.

An alternate name, "Cubewanos", was proposed as a play on the name of 1992 QB1 (provided you pronounce QB1 as cue - bee - wan, not cue - bee - wun).

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