Long-period comet flux in the planetary region: Dynamical evolution from the Oort cloud
Author: Mazeeva, O.
Source: Solar System Research, Volume 41, Number 2, April 2007 , pp. 118-128(11)
Publisher: MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica
Abstract:This study analyzes the evolution of 2 × 105 orbits with initial parameters corresponding to the orbits of comets of the Oort cloud under the action of planetary, galactic, and stellar perturbations over 2 × 109 years. The dynamical evolution of comets of the outer (orbital semimajor axes a > 104 AU) and inner (5 × 103 < a (AU) < 104) parts of the comet cloud is analyzed separately. The estimates of the flux of “new” and long-period comets for all perihelion distances q in the planetary region are reported. The flux of comets with a > 104 AU in the interval 15 AU < q < 31 AU is several times higher than the flux of comets in the region q < 15 AU. We point out the increased concentration of the perihelia of orbits of comets from the outer cloud, which have passed several times through the planetary system, in the Saturn-Uranus region. The maxima in the distribution of the perihelia of the orbits of comets of the inner Oort cloud are located in the Uranus-Neptune region. “New” comets moving in orbits with a < 2 × 104 AU and arriving at the outside of the planetary system (q > 25 AU) subsequently have a greater number of returns to the region q < 35 AU. The perihelia of the orbits of these comets gradually drift toward the interior of the Solar System and accumulate beyond the orbit of Saturn. The distribution of the perihelia of long-period comets beyond the orbit of Saturn exhibits a peak. We discuss the problem of replenishing the outer Oort cloud by comets from the inner part and their subsequent dynamical evolution. The annual rate of passages of comets of the inner cloud, which replenish the outer cloud, in the region q < 1 AU in orbits with a > 104 AU (∼ 5.0 × 10−14 yr−1) is one order of magnitude lower than the rate of passage of comets from the outer Oort cloud (∼ 9.1 × 10−13 yr−1).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2007