EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 376, Number 1, September II 2001
Page(s) 316 - 324
Section The solar system
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010945

A&A 376, 316-324 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010945

A study of the original orbits of "hyperbolic" comets

M. Królikowska

Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland

(Received 7 March 2001 / Accepted 27 June 2001)

The problem of hyperbolic incoming orbits for single-apparition comets is investigated. In this context the effect of non-gravitational acceleration on cometary dynamics was analyzed for the sample of 33 "hyperbolic" comets. The orbital elements of each cometary orbit were determined by the least squares procedure based on positional observations. These osculating orbital elements serve as a basis for the determination of the incoming orbits. The new method of estimating the uncertainties of $(1/a)_{\rm ori}$ based on a statistical approach to the orbit determinations is applied. For sixteen comets it was possible to determine the non-gravitational effects and original "non-gravitational" orbits. We show that for almost all the comets with detectable non-gravitational effects the incoming barycentric orbits changed from hyperbolic to elliptical when the non-gravitational effects were included. However, it was also ascertained that excess velocity at great distance are not cancelled by the non-gravitational acceleration itself. We show that the non-gravitational effects are responsible for small modifications of the osculating elements (mainly eccentricity), which are sufficient, however, to obtain the elliptic original orbits for comets recognized in the literature as hyperbolic.

Key words: solar system -- comets -- long-period -- non-gravitational effects

© ESO 2001

What is OpenURL?

The OpenURL standard is a protocol for transmission of metadata describing the resource that you wish to access.

An OpenURL link contains article metadata and directs it to the OpenURL server of your choice. The OpenURL server can provide access to the resource and also offer complementary services (specific search engine, export of references...). The OpenURL link can be generated by different means.

  • If your librarian has set up your subscription with an OpenURL resolver, OpenURL links appear automatically on the abstract pages.
  • You can define your own OpenURL resolver with your EDPS Account.
    In this case your choice will be given priority over that of your library.
  • You can use an add-on for your browser (Firefox or I.E.) to display OpenURL links on a page (see http://www.openly.com/openurlref/). You should disable this module if you wish to use the OpenURL server that you or your library have defined.