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<-   The Kuiper objects   ->
figures/sednac.gif
Direct observation of a large Kuiper object : Sedna, at the center of the green circle.
Crédit : NASA / Caltech

The Kuiper disk is a grouping of comets, asteroids and other objects located beyond Neptune. It is so distant (between 35 and 100 AU from the Sun) that only the nearest objects and the larger ones can be directly detected.

The presence of Kuiper objects, very small or very distant, can be detected when they pass in front of a star, modifying its apparent brightness. This method, called "stellar occultation", which is the only one that gives access to this part of the Kuiper disk, will be implemented by the satellite CoRoT.

Hundreds of objects have been discovered. Millions of distributed objects probably exist in a disc called the Oort cloud, which may extend to the outer edges of the solar system.