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<-   The Oort cloud  
figures/oort.jpg
The Kuiper belt within the Oort cloud.
Crédit : Paris Observatory / ASM

The Oort cloud is a wide zone located beyond the Kuiper belt, which extends approximately between 20000 and 150000 AU, and could contain several billion comets.

The Oort cloud could contain several billion comet nucleii, and would be the source of most of the comets which get into the central regions of the Solar System (few short-period comets can come from the Kuiper belt).