The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt

@article{Stern2003TheEO,
  title={The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt},
  author={S. Alan Stern},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2003},
  volume={424},
  pages={639-642}
}
  • S. Stern
  • Published 7 August 2003
  • Physics, Geology
  • Nature
Comets are remnants from the time when the outer planets formed, ∼4–4.5 billion years ago. They have been in storage since then in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt—distant regions that are so cold and sparsely populated that it was long thought that comets approaching the Sun were pristine samples from the time of Solar System formation. It is now recognized, however, that a variety of subtle but important evolutionary mechanisms operate on comets during their long storage, so they can no longer… 

On the Evolution of Comets

Studying comets is believed to bring invaluable clues on the formation and evolution of our planetary system. In comparison to planets, they have undergone much less alteration, and should have

Comets, tracers of the early Solar Nebula

Comets are made of ices, organics and minerals that record the chemistry of the outer regions of the primitive solar nebula where they agglomerated 4.6 Gyr ago. Compositional analyses of comets can

Kuiper Belt Objects in the Planetary Region: The Jupiter-Family Comets

Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) are a dynamically distinct group with low orbital inclinations and orbital periods ?20 yr. Their origin has been shown computationally to be the Kuiper belt region beyond

Thermal and Chemical Evolution of Comet Nuclei and Kuiper Belt Objects

Abstract The structure and composition of comet nuclei are mainly altered during two short phases that are separated by a very long hibernation phase. Early evolution—during and immediately after

Formation of C 3 and C 2 in cometary comae

Comets are remnants from the Solar System formation. They reside at large distances from the Sun and are believed to store deep freeze imprints of the chemical and physical conditions at the time the

Oort Cloud Formation and Dynamics

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

From interstellar material to comet particles and molecules

The birthplace of stars, planets, and small bodies are molecular clouds consisting mainly of H and He gas as well as tiny amounts of solid particles. Dust and gas from such an interstellar cloud

The Role of the Galaxy in the Dynamical Evolution of Transneptunian Objects

Our understanding of the past and present dynamical imprint of the galaxy on the outer reaches of our solar system has evolved considerably since the pioneering work of Oort (1950). In particular,

Reservoirs for Comets: Compositional Differences Based on Infrared Observations

Tracing measured compositions of comets to their origins continues to be of keen interest to cometary scientists and to dynamical modelers of Solar System formation and evolution. This requires

Structure and density of cometary nuclei

Abstract— Understanding the nature of the cometary nucleus remains one of the major problems in solar system science. Whipple's (1950) icy conglomerate model has been very successful at explaining a
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 45 REFERENCES

The Oort cloud

Although the outermost planet, Pluto, is 6xl09km from the Sun, the Sun's gravitational sphere of influence extends much further, out to ∼2x1013 km. This space is occupied by the Oort cloud,

Rapid collisional evolution of comets during the formation of the Oort cloud

TLDR
It appears that collisions will prevent most comets escaping from most locations in the region of the giant planets until the disk mass there declines sufficiently that the dynamical ejection timescale is shorter than the collisional lifetime.

The Origin of Short-Period Comets

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

Origin Of Short-Period Comets

Reasons for interest in the origin of short-period comets and the difficulties of computing their long-term dynamcal evolution are reviewed. The relative advantages of a source region in an extended

A new model for cometary nuclei

The effects of mechanical interaction between the interstellar medium and comets

Erosion of circumstellar particle disks by interstellar dust

Circumstellar particle disks appear to be a common phenomenon; however, their properties vary greatly. Models of the evolution of such systems focus on internal mechanisms such as interparticle

Protostars and Planets VI

Various papers on the formation of stars and planets are presented. The general topics addressed include: molecular clouds and star formation, young stellar objects and circumstellar disks, chemistry

Changes in the Structure of Comet Nuclei Due to Radioactive Heating

The initial structure of a comet nucleus is most probably a homogeneous, porous, fine-grained mixture of dust and ices, predominantly water. The water ice is presumably amorphous and includes

The Long-Term Dynamical Behavior of Short-Period Comets

We have developed and carefully tested a new computer code to follow the long-term dynamical evolution of a swarm of test particles in the solar system. This new integrator is approximately an order