Kuiper Belt is about 2% of the mass of the Earth

The mass of Kuiper belt has been estimated as 2% of the mass of the Earth. This is based upon 800,000 positional observations of planets and spacecraft. The total mass of the Kuiper belt is two orders of magnitude larger than the mass of the Main asteroid belt.

It is almost three orders of magnitude smaller than the mass of the proposed 9th planet. The 9th planet is 10 times the mass of the Earth.

The 9th planet is calculated to be 800 to 1100 AU away. The Kuiper Belt is mainly concentrated around 39 to 49 AU.

Arxiv – Mass of the Kuiper belt.

31 thoughts on “Kuiper Belt is about 2% of the mass of the Earth”

  1. i really think that we should eschew using specific orders-of-magnitude values from these kind of open interest articles. For instance, how hard would it have been to say, ⇒ “total mass of Kuiper Belt is about 100× that of the main Asteroid Belt”? or ⇒ “In turn, the proposed 9th planet is thought to be 1,000× the mass of the Kuiper belt” See what I mean? No need to hope that all readers might be able to suss what 3 orders of magnitude might be. Or worse, to have to translate that in parenthesis to 1000× anyway. Just saying, GoatGuy

    Reply
  2. i really think that we should eschew using specific orders-of-magnitude values from these kind of open interest articles.For instance how hard would it have been to say ⇒ total mass of Kuiper Belt is about 100× that of the main Asteroid Belt””? or ⇒ “”””In turn”” the proposed 9th planet is thought to be 1″”000× the mass of the Kuiper belt””””See what I mean? No need to hope that all readers might be able to suss what 3 orders of magnitude might be. Or worse”” to have to translate that in parenthesis to 1000× anyway. Just saying””GoatGuy”””””””

    Reply
  3. Thing is, I don’t like fractional percents all that much. What is 0.02% … quick … oh, shift the decimal left 2 positions … add in the missing zeroes … that’d be 0.0002, which is what, 2 ten-thousandth’s or 1 five-thousandth? Oh, my head hurts. The real deeper problem is that just about everyone who is NOT an engineering or science “lifer” has a deep myopia when it comes to understanding proportionate values. Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know. Still, for clarity that perhaps transcends this, one could possibly have said, “In terms of mass, the Kuiper Belt is about 40× the mass of the Asteroid belt, and Earth is 50× greater again than the Kuiper Belt or about 2,000× that of the AB”. Clear, no conversions, no orders-of-magnitude, no fractional percentages. In fact, I’d argue that saying it as I just wrote makes the factoid MEMORABLE. Even if you get it “wrong” … its pretty easy to remember that scientists have estimated a 40-to–1 ratio of mass between the asteroids, Kuiper and Earth. Close enough. Anyway, thanks for the input. GoatGuy

    Reply
  4. While we are at it, I’m not optimistic about most layman types remembering that the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc is a parsec, either. Easier for the readership if the author would just to go ahead and multiply them by 3.26 light years before publishing.

    Reply
  5. Thing is I don’t like fractional percents all that much. What is 0.02{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} … quick … oh shift the decimal left 2 positions … add in the missing zeroes … that’d be 0.0002 which is what 2 ten-thousandth’s or 1 five-thousandth? Oh my head hurts. The real deeper problem is that just about everyone who is NOT an engineering or science “lifer” has a deep myopia when it comes to understanding proportionate values. Moreover the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school you know. Still for clarity that perhaps transcends this one could possibly have said “In terms of mass the Kuiper Belt is about 40× the mass of the Asteroid belt and Earth is 50× greater again than the Kuiper Belt or about 2000× that of the AB”.Clear no conversions no orders-of-magnitude no fractional percentages. In fact I’d argue that saying it as I just wrote makes the factoid MEMORABLE. Even if you get it “wrong” … its pretty easy to remember that scientists have estimated a 40-to–1 ratio of mass between the asteroids Kuiper and Earth. Close enough. Anyway thanks for the input.GoatGuy”

    Reply
  6. While we are at it I’m not optimistic about most layman types remembering that the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc is a parsec either. Easier for the readership if the author would just to go ahead and multiply them by 3.26 light years before publishing.

    Reply
  7. More accurately the asteroid belt is ~0.05{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth’s mass so it’s only 40 times less than this Kuiper Belt estimate.

    Reply
  8. Agreed. As a Gen-Xer, there’s plenty of people my age who have forgotten the details of fractions and percentages. One advantage we have is that we’re old enough that we had to help our kids with elementary school math and got a little refresher in the process, the millenials have not done that yet. The myopia of blaming everything on millenials is certainly prevalent, and I would call it a form of laziness. When I was a kid the baby boomers said the exact same things about Gen X, saying they were too lazy or didn’t have the attention span or respect for rules to hold long-term jobs, to pay a mortgage, etc etc. I’m sure the “greatest generation” said the same about the boomers.

    Reply
  9. Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know.” Where isn’t it being taught in school? I’ve just been tutoring a student in grades 8 & 9 math in Alberta. That does include all the basic operations on fractions.

    Reply
  10. Agreed. As a Gen-Xer there’s plenty of people my age who have forgotten the details of fractions and percentages. One advantage we have is that we’re old enough that we had to help our kids with elementary school math and got a little refresher in the process the millenials have not done that yet.The myopia of blaming everything on millenials is certainly prevalent and I would call it a form of laziness. When I was a kid the baby boomers said the exact same things about Gen X saying they were too lazy or didn’t have the attention span or respect for rules to hold long-term jobs to pay a mortgage etc etc. I’m sure the greatest generation”” said the same about the boomers.”””

    Reply
  11. Moreover the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school” you know.””Where isn’t it being taught in school? I’ve just been tutoring a student in grades 8 & 9 math in Alberta. That does include all the basic operations on fractions.”””

    Reply
  12. Geez, it would have been so much easier if they just wrote the Kuiper belt’s mass is about 1.194438 × 10^23 kilograms.

    Or, just a bit more than the mass of our Moon (which is 1.2% of Earth’s mass).

    Reply
  13. Agreed. As a Gen-Xer, there’s plenty of people my age who have forgotten the details of fractions and percentages. One advantage we have is that we’re old enough that we had to help our kids with elementary school math and got a little refresher in the process, the millenials have not done that yet. The myopia of blaming everything on millenials is certainly prevalent, and I would call it a form of laziness. When I was a kid the baby boomers said the exact same things about Gen X, saying they were too lazy or didn’t have the attention span or respect for rules to hold long-term jobs, to pay a mortgage, etc etc. I’m sure the “greatest generation” said the same about the boomers.

    Reply
  14. Agreed. As a Gen-Xer there’s plenty of people my age who have forgotten the details of fractions and percentages. One advantage we have is that we’re old enough that we had to help our kids with elementary school math and got a little refresher in the process the millenials have not done that yet.The myopia of blaming everything on millenials is certainly prevalent and I would call it a form of laziness. When I was a kid the baby boomers said the exact same things about Gen X saying they were too lazy or didn’t have the attention span or respect for rules to hold long-term jobs to pay a mortgage etc etc. I’m sure the greatest generation”” said the same about the boomers.”””

    Reply
  15. Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know.” Where isn’t it being taught in school? I’ve just been tutoring a student in grades 8 & 9 math in Alberta. That does include all the basic operations on fractions.

    Reply
  16. Moreover the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school” you know.””Where isn’t it being taught in school? I’ve just been tutoring a student in grades 8 & 9 math in Alberta. That does include all the basic operations on fractions.”””

    Reply
  17. Thing is, I don’t like fractional percents all that much. What is 0.02% … quick … oh, shift the decimal left 2 positions … add in the missing zeroes … that’d be 0.0002, which is what, 2 ten-thousandth’s or 1 five-thousandth? Oh, my head hurts. The real deeper problem is that just about everyone who is NOT an engineering or science “lifer” has a deep myopia when it comes to understanding proportionate values. Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know. Still, for clarity that perhaps transcends this, one could possibly have said, “In terms of mass, the Kuiper Belt is about 40× the mass of the Asteroid belt, and Earth is 50× greater again than the Kuiper Belt or about 2,000× that of the AB”. Clear, no conversions, no orders-of-magnitude, no fractional percentages. In fact, I’d argue that saying it as I just wrote makes the factoid MEMORABLE. Even if you get it “wrong” … its pretty easy to remember that scientists have estimated a 40-to–1 ratio of mass between the asteroids, Kuiper and Earth. Close enough. Anyway, thanks for the input. GoatGuy

    Reply
  18. Thing is I don’t like fractional percents all that much. What is 0.02{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} … quick … oh shift the decimal left 2 positions … add in the missing zeroes … that’d be 0.0002 which is what 2 ten-thousandth’s or 1 five-thousandth? Oh my head hurts. The real deeper problem is that just about everyone who is NOT an engineering or science “lifer” has a deep myopia when it comes to understanding proportionate values. Moreover the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school you know. Still for clarity that perhaps transcends this one could possibly have said “In terms of mass the Kuiper Belt is about 40× the mass of the Asteroid belt and Earth is 50× greater again than the Kuiper Belt or about 2000× that of the AB”.Clear no conversions no orders-of-magnitude no fractional percentages. In fact I’d argue that saying it as I just wrote makes the factoid MEMORABLE. Even if you get it “wrong” … its pretty easy to remember that scientists have estimated a 40-to–1 ratio of mass between the asteroids Kuiper and Earth. Close enough. Anyway thanks for the input.GoatGuy”

    Reply
  19. While we are at it, I’m not optimistic about most layman types remembering that the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc is a parsec, either. Easier for the readership if the author would just to go ahead and multiply them by 3.26 light years before publishing.

    Reply
  20. While we are at it I’m not optimistic about most layman types remembering that the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc is a parsec either. Easier for the readership if the author would just to go ahead and multiply them by 3.26 light years before publishing.

    Reply
  21. More accurately the asteroid belt is ~0.05{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth’s mass so it’s only 40 times less than this Kuiper Belt estimate.

    Reply
  22. Agreed. As a Gen-Xer, there’s plenty of people my age who have forgotten the details of fractions and percentages. One advantage we have is that we’re old enough that we had to help our kids with elementary school math and got a little refresher in the process, the millenials have not done that yet.

    The myopia of blaming everything on millenials is certainly prevalent, and I would call it a form of laziness. When I was a kid the baby boomers said the exact same things about Gen X, saying they were too lazy or didn’t have the attention span or respect for rules to hold long-term jobs, to pay a mortgage, etc etc. I’m sure the “greatest generation” said the same about the boomers.

    Reply
  23. i really think that we should eschew using specific orders-of-magnitude values from these kind of open interest articles. For instance, how hard would it have been to say, ⇒ “total mass of Kuiper Belt is about 100× that of the main Asteroid Belt”? or ⇒ “In turn, the proposed 9th planet is thought to be 1,000× the mass of the Kuiper belt” See what I mean? No need to hope that all readers might be able to suss what 3 orders of magnitude might be. Or worse, to have to translate that in parenthesis to 1000× anyway. Just saying, GoatGuy

    Reply
  24. i really think that we should eschew using specific orders-of-magnitude values from these kind of open interest articles.For instance how hard would it have been to say ⇒ total mass of Kuiper Belt is about 100× that of the main Asteroid Belt””? or ⇒ “”””In turn”” the proposed 9th planet is thought to be 1″”000× the mass of the Kuiper belt””””See what I mean? No need to hope that all readers might be able to suss what 3 orders of magnitude might be. Or worse”” to have to translate that in parenthesis to 1000× anyway. Just saying””GoatGuy”””””””

    Reply
  25. “Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know.”

    Where isn’t it being taught in school? I’ve just been tutoring a student in grades 8 & 9 math in Alberta. That does include all the basic operations on fractions.

    Reply
  26. Thing is, I don’t like fractional percents all that much. What is 0.02% … quick … oh, shift the decimal left 2 positions … add in the missing zeroes … that’d be 0.0002, which is what, 2 ten-thousandth’s or 1 five-thousandth? Oh, my head hurts.

    The real deeper problem is that just about everyone who is NOT an engineering or science “lifer” has a deep myopia when it comes to understanding proportionate values. Moreover, the millennial generation has also been gifted with the additional myopia of not knowing how fractions work. Not being taught in school, you know.

    Still, for clarity that perhaps transcends this, one could possibly have said, “In terms of mass, the Kuiper Belt is about 40× the mass of the Asteroid belt, and Earth is 50× greater again than the Kuiper Belt or about 2,000× that of the AB”.

    Clear, no conversions, no orders-of-magnitude, no fractional percentages. In fact, I’d argue that saying it as I just wrote makes the factoid MEMORABLE. Even if you get it “wrong” … its pretty easy to remember that scientists have estimated a 40-to–1 ratio of mass between the asteroids, Kuiper and Earth. Close enough.

    Anyway, thanks for the input.
    GoatGuy

    Reply
  27. While we are at it, I’m not optimistic about most layman types remembering that the distance at which the mean radius of the earth’s orbit subtends an angle of one second of arc is a parsec, either. Easier for the readership if the author would just to go ahead and multiply them by 3.26 light years before publishing.

    Reply
  28. i really think that we should eschew using specific orders-of-magnitude values from these kind of open interest articles.

    For instance, how hard would it have been to say,

    ⇒ “total mass of Kuiper Belt is about 100× that of the main Asteroid Belt”? or
    ⇒ “In turn, the proposed 9th planet is thought to be 1,000× the mass of the Kuiper belt”

    See what I mean? No need to hope that all readers might be able to suss what 3 orders of magnitude might be. Or worse, to have to translate that in parenthesis to 1000× anyway.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

    Reply

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