Short1 - that there is a particular...

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Short- and long-period comets Comets such as Halley's which have been known to return, or in orbits with an accurately determinable return period, are known as short-period comets . Other comets are in such eccentric orbits that they will have effective periods of order 10 6 years. These are known as long- period comets . Short-period comets tend to lie in a narrow range of eccentricity, inclination and period: Eccentricity v Inclination Eccentricity v Period
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There is a tendency for the aphelia to be near the orbit of Jupiter and Saturn. It is a matter of conjecture whether short-period comethether short-period comets are from a different "pool" of bodies to long-period comets or whether they are long-period comets which have been deflected into short-period orbits by the giant planets. We shall see below that there is now some evidence
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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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Short1 - that there is a particular...

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