5 Facts about the Oort Cloud

5 Facts about the Oort Cloud

5 Facts about the Oort Cloud

Outer space stores many mystery objects in it. One of them is the Oort cloud, a super large object that exists outside the edge of the solar system.

The Oort cloud is referred to as the home of comets, essentially long-mass comets that have orbital periods of up to billions of years. But unfortunately, there is no more detailed research regarding this object because it is the farthest away.

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Here are 5 Facts about the Oort Cloud

1. Known to exist in 1950 by Jan Oort

Known to exist in 1950 by Jan Oort

Comet Illustration

The name Oort cloud actually comes from the name of a Dutch astronomer who first predicted its presence in 1950, namely Jan Oort. This stems from Oort's curiosity about the origin of short-period comets.

Oort eventually performed a series of calculations using the orbital data of 19 long-mass comets that he had found correctly. The results show that the comet has its farthest point at a distance of 3 trillion km, which is equal to 20 thousand times the distance from Earth to the Sun.

Ultimately, he suggested that long-term comets came from a distant location, namely the object we now know as the Oort cloud.

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2. It is about 1.5 light-years from the sun

It is about 1.5 light-years from the sun

Oort Cloud Illustration

Quoted by NASA, the Oort cloud is in a location farthest from the Sun. The estimated distance ranges from 2,000 to 100,000 astronomical units (AU). This is equal to 1.5 light-years.

From this prediction, it can be confirmed that the Oort cloud does not have a strong gravitational pull from the Sun. These conditions make the Oort cloud described as the coldest and darkest place.

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3. Storing trillions of frozen cosmic objects

Storing trillions of frozen cosmic objects

Oort Cloud Illustration

The shape of the Oort cloud is described as a large ball or bubble that surrounds the solar system. Researchers predict that there are trillions of cosmic objects in it.

Some of these cosmic objects are generally made of ice dust that is the size of a mountain or even more, like a comet. Another name for the Oort Cloud is 'comet reservoir' or 'comet house'.

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4. It took centuries to reach the Oort cloud

It took centuries to reach the Oort cloud

Oort Cloud Illustration

Because of its greatest distance, no real research has been done on the Oort Cloud. The news is that NASA will send five spacecraft to this super large bubble, one of which is Voyager 1 and 2, New Horizons, and Pioneer 10 and 11.

Even so, the spacecraft must take hundreds of years to reach the Oort cloud, approximately 300 to 30,000 years. Surely this is an estimate of a very long time, so it is difficult to ascertain the success of the search vision.

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5. Formed 4.6 billion years ago

Formed 4.6 billion years ago

Illustration of the protoplanetary formation process

Researchers predict that the Oort cloud was created about 4.6 billion years ago. This object is likened to come from some of the remnants of the construction of the protoplanetary disk around the Sun.

Therefore, the Oort cloud and all the objects in it can open a guide for researchers to know the past of the universe. Yes, because some of the material that makes up the Oort cloud comes from billions of years ago.

Now you know what the Oort cloud is, right? Namely the home of the comet that surrounds our solar system. Hopefully, this info can add to your knowledge, yes!

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