Why is it called that? The pronunciation and the history of the name.

One of the first observational surprises was that Kuiper belt objects can be grouped according to the shapes and sizes of their orbits. We currently recognise these classes:

Classical, Resonant, Plutinos, Scattered, Detached

Centaurs Escaped Kuiper belt objects (probably)

Plutoids Medical treatment neither possible nor necessary.

Planet X Comments about Planet X, with which large Kuiper belt objects are commonly confused.

Damocloids Inactive Halley type comets.

Think Piece A short article about planetary science sociology and politics. Also available in French (thanks, Audrey). [pdf file]

Planet The International Astronomical Union and the new view of Pluto.

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e-mail: David Jewitt