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Unformatted text preview: that there is a particular "pool" of bodies from which they may be drawn. The fact that the short-period comets have low inclinations whereas the long-period bodies can have virtually any inclinations is strong evidence that the origins are different (though of course you could argue that the higher inclination long-period comets stand less chance of being deflected during passage through the inner solar system.) The long-period comets tend to have nearly - but not quite - parabolic orbits. If we plot a frequency-energy diagram (i.e the number frequency of bodies at given orbital energy, represented by 1/a) for long-period comets, then we see a clear clustering at just over zero:...
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