Volume 633, January 2020
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||14 January 2020|
Non-gravitational effects change the original 1/a-distribution of near-parabolic comets★
Space Research Centre of Polish Academy of Sciences,
Accepted: 13 November 2019
Context. The original 1∕a-distribution is the only observational basis for the origin of long-period comets (LPCs) and the dynamical properties of the Oort Cloud. Although they are very subtle in the motion of these comets, non-gravitational effects can cause major changes in the original semimajor axis, 1∕aori.
Aims. We obtained reliable non-gravitational orbits for as many LPCs with small perihelion distances of q < 3.1 au as possible, and determined the corresponding shape of the Oort spike.
Methods. We determined the osculating orbits of each comet using several data-processing methods, and selected the preferred orbit using a few specific criteria. The distribution of 1∕aori for the whole comet sample was constructed using the individual Gaussian distribution we obtained for the preferred solution of each comet.
Results. The derived distribution of 1∕aori for almost all known small-perihelion Oort spike comets was based on 64% of the non-gravitational orbits. This was compared with the distribution based on purely gravitational orbits, as well as with 1∕aori constructed earlier for LPCs with q > 3.1 au. We present a statistical analysis of the magnitudes of the non-gravitational acceleration for about 100 LPCs.
Conclusions. The 1∕aori-distribution, which is based mainly on the non-gravitational orbits of small-perihelion Oort spike comets, is shifted by about 10 × 10−6 au−1 to higher values of 1∕aori compared with the distribution that is obtained when the non-gravitational effects on comet motion are ignored. We show the differences in the 1∕aori-distributions between LPCs with q < 3.1 au and those with q > 3.1 au. These findings indicate the important role of non-gravitational acceleration in the motion and origin of LPCs and in the formation of the Oort Cloud.
Key words: comets: general / Oort Cloud
Full Tables 1, 3, and A.1–A.4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/633/A80
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.