Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Kuiper Belt

The Kuiper Belt region of the solar-system, stretching way beyond the orbit of Neptune, is a dark and resource-rich region of space. It is the perfect place from which to monitor the inner solar-system.

Since its discovery in 1992 thousands of objects have been discovered out there, and not all of them can be explained simply as huge lumps of ice. KBO 55636 is one of those. It was originally thought to be quite a large object with a dull surface (due to its incredible age and the bombardment with dust and cosmic rays), but recent measurements suggest that it is a small (300 kilometres in diameter) and highly reflective.

Such an object should not be there, unless it was placed there deliberately.

The Kuiper Belt is an ideal location for a large monitoring station, one that provides backup to smaller clandestine stations in the asteroid belt. The purpose of such stations would, of course, be to monitor our activities here on Earth. And the distant Kuiper Belt station would also be a more comfortable place to live for the beings working at the monitoring stations. It is likely that such a station would provide powerful signal relay abilities.

NASA's New Horizons mission will visit the Kuiper Belt's most famous object, Pluto, in 2015. It will then go on to explore further objects in that region. Such a mission will allow us to gain more information about that mysterious and potentially sinister region of our solar-system.

Evidence of advanced intelligence is likely to be found in the darkest and coldest of places. The Kuiper Belt is one of those places. The information sent back by New Horizons will be very interesting indeed.

For an spectacular novel featuring a large Kuiper Belt-style planetoid read The Kretins of Doctor Combobulay free online, or download the PDF here.

There is even a song about such an object, and a sinister one at that. It's by Dayglo Fishermen and is called Nerdlinger One. It's free to download.