Paul R. Weissman

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The Oort cloud is the primary source of the “nearly isotropic” comets, which include new and returning long-period comets and Halley-type comets. We focus on the following topics: (1) the orbital distribution of known comets and the cometary “fading” problem; (2) the population and mass of the Oort cloud, including the hypothetical inner Oort cloud; (3) the(More)
On 4 July 2005, many observatories around the world and in space observed the collision of Deep Impact with comet 9P/Tempel 1 or its aftermath. This was an unprecedented coordinated observational campaign. These data show that (i) there was new material after impact that was compositionally different from that seen before impact; (ii) the ratio of dust mass(More)
During the 1990 Galileo Venus flyby, the Near Infaied Mapping Spectrometer investigated the night-side atmosphere of Venus in the spectral range 0.7 to 5.2 micrometers. Multispectral images at high spatial resolution indicate substanmial cloud opacity variations in the lower cloud levels, centered at 50 kilometers altitude. Zonal and meridional winds were(More)
The Oort cloud of comets was formed by the ejection of icy planetesimals from the region of giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune--during their formation. Dynamical simulations have previously shown that comets reach the Oort cloud only after being perturbed into eccentric orbits that result in close encounters with the giant planets, which(More)
Introduction: We are continuing our program to determine the size distribution of cometary nuclei. We have compiled a catalog of 105 measurements of 57 cometary nuclei, drawn from the general literature, from our own program of CCD photometry of distant cometary nuclei (Lowry and Weissman [1]), and from unpublished observations by colleagues. We model the(More)
The Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer performed spectral studies of Jupiter and the Galilean satellites during the June 1996 perijove pass of the Galileo spacecraft. Spectra for a 5-micrometer hot spot on Jupiter are consistent with the absence of a significant water cloud above 8 bars and with a depletion of water compared to that predicted for solar(More)
The peculiar object P/2010 A2 was discovered in January 2010 and given a cometary designation because of the presence of a trail of material, although there was no central condensation or coma. The appearance of this object, in an asteroidal orbit (small eccentricity and inclination) in the inner main asteroid belt attracted attention as a potential new(More)