Sun grazers predicted path

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  • Member since
    December, 2012
Sun grazers predicted path
Posted by duzzy on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 11:45 PM

Would it be very likely that a Comet that has an orbit close to the Sun might not follow an anticipated path around the Sun? Was just thinking if the size of the Comet could cause to orbit the Sun in a particular path. This most likely would be a small comet versus a rather large comet.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
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. 

BrooksObs

 

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