The radial distribution of the Kuiper Belt

Chadwick A. Trujillo, Michael E. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


We examine the radial distribution of the Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) using a method that is insensitive to observational bias effects. This technique allows the use of the discovery distances of all KBOs, independent of orbital classification or discovery circumstance. We verify the presence of an outer edge to the Kuiper Belt, as reported in other works, and we measure this edge to be at R = 47 ± 1 AU given any physically plausible model of the size distribution. We confirm that this outer edge is due to the classical KBOs, the most numerically dominant observationally. In addition, we find that current surveys do not preclude the presence of a second, unobserved Kuiper Belt beyond R = 76 AU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L95-L98
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Jun 10 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud
  • Minor planets, asteroids
  • Solar system: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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