The Origin of Short-Period Comets

  title={The Origin of Short-Period Comets},
  author={Martin J. Duncan and Thomas R. Quinn and Scott Tremaine},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
The key results of an extensive series of numerical simulations of the evolution of comet orbits due to the gravitational perturbations of the giant planets are presented. The results show that the inclination distribution of comets with large perihelion that evolve to observable comets is approximately preserved. Thus, the short-period (SP) comets, which are mostly in prograde, low-inclination orbits, cannot arise from gravitational scattering of any spherical population of comets. However… 
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