EDP Sciences
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Volume 383, Number 3, March I 2002
Page(s) 1049 - 1053
Section Celestial mechanics and astrometry
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011824

A&A 383, 1049-1053 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011824

On the asymmetry of the distribution of observable comets induced by a star passage through the Oort cloud

P. A. Dybczynski

Astronomical Observatory of the A. Mickiewicz University, ul. Sloneczna 36, 60-286 Poznan, Poland

(Received 5 October 2001 / Accepted 28 November 2001 )

Single passage of a star through the Oort cloud yields anisotropic distribution of observable long period comets. This conclusion emerges from our extensive Monte Carlo simulations of the directional distribution of long-period comets induced by a stellar passage through the Oort cloud. For a broad range of simulation parameters we obtained the asymmetric distribution of comets as result of a single stellar passage. A direct result of our simulation is a guide-line for studies of the anisotropies in the observed long-period comet sample and searching for fingerprints of a recent stellar passage. We obtained an isotropic distribution, as simulated by Weissman (1996) only for a very peculiar choice of input parameters. The accuracy of our calculations was verified by consistency of the impulse approximation and direct orbit integration results.

Key words: comets: general -- Oort cloud -- solar system: general

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