this page honors Gerard Peter Kuiper (1905-1973)

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In an anthology published in 1951 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Yerkes Observatory, Gerard P. Kuiper proposed some answers to the question of what happened to the belt of nebular matter outside Neptune's orbit as the solar system was evolving.

Kuiper proposed that "[o]utside Neptune cometlike objects must have formed in any case; the calculations give the right orders of magnitude both for the dimensions of the comets and their total number."

During his long career, he made wide-ranging studies of the solar system, including the atmospheres of Mars and of Saturn's moon Titan. He discovered Uranus's moon Miranda and Neptune's moon Nereid. He was also a pioneer in the use of infrared astronomy, and NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory was named in his honor.

His publications included several atlases of the Moon, the nine-volume Stars and Stellar Systems, and The Solar System (a four-volume work).

For Kuiper's original article, see Astrophysics, a Topical Symposium, edited by J.A. Hynek and published by McGraw Hill in 1951.