Document Detail

Reassessing the source of long-period comets.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19644075     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
We present numerical simulations to model the production of observable long-period comets (LPCs) from the Oort Cloud, a vast reservoir of icy bodies surrounding the Sun. We show that inner Oort Cloud objects can penetrate Jupiter's orbit via a largely unexplored dynamical pathway, and they are an important, if not the dominant, source of known LPCs. We use this LPC production to place observationally motivated constraints on the population and mass of the inner Oort Cloud, which are consistent with giant planet formation theory. These constraints indicate that only one comet shower producing late Eocene bombardment levels has likely occurred since the Cambrian Explosion, making these phenomena an improbable cause of additional extinction events.
Nathan A Kaib; Thomas Quinn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2009-07-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  325     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-04     Completed Date:  2009-09-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1234-6     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195-1580, USA.
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Comment In:
Science. 2009 Sep 4;325(5945):1211-2   [PMID:  19729643 ]

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