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Week 03


Special Topic: The Oort Cloud

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JANUARY 12, 1910: A group of diamond miners in the Transvaal in South Africa spot a brilliant comet low in the predawn sky. This was the first sighting of what became known as the “Daylight Comet of 1910” (old style designations 1910a and 1910 I, new style designation C/1910 A1). It soon became one of …

Perihelion: 2007 January 12.80, q = 0.171 AU After the LIncoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program based in New Mexico became operational in early 1998, the discovery rate for both asteroids (including, certainly, near-Earth asteroids) and comets exploded dramatically. This trend has continued on up to the present day with the various subsequent surveys that …

When examined from the standpoint of orbital characteristics, comets appear to come in one of two broad categories: short-period and long-period. Short-period comets, as this term implies, have relatively short orbital periods and often have been observed at numerous returns, while long-period comets, obviously, have long orbital periods and usually have only been observed once. …