Posted by BrooksObs
on Wednesday, October 09, 2013 7:59 AM
Once the orbit of ANY comet has been accurately determined for the first time from a reasonable number of well spaced measured positions the path it will follow around the Sun can only be influenced through perturbations by the gravity of the planets. These usually only impact the orbit to a very minor degree. Even so, the better computational methods employed in calculating comet orbits these days allow for these perturbation and the resulting orbit is rock solid in accuracy. The only minor exception possible is due to what are called "non-gravitional forces". These are due to the rocket-action of outgasing on the comet's nucleus, but these effects are generally tiny by normal observational standards. The physical size of the comet's nucleus alone will not have any influence on the orbit.