Injection of Oort Cloud comets: the fundamental role of stellar perturbations
2008 (English)In: Celestial mechanics & dynamical astronomy, ISSN 0923-2958, E-ISSN 1572-9478, Vol. 102, no 1-3, 111-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present Monte Carlo simulations of the dynamical evolution of the Oort cloud over the age of the Solar System, using an initial sample of one million test comets without any cloning. Our model includes perturbations due to the Galactic tide (radial and vertical) and passing stars. We present the first detailed analysis of the injection mechanism into observable orbits by comparing the complete model with separate models for tidal and stellar perturbations alone. We find that a fundamental role for injecting comets from the region outside the loss cone (perihelion distance q > 15 AU) into observable orbits (q < 5 AU) is played by stellar perturbations. These act in synergy with the tide such that the total injection rate is significantly larger than the sum of the two separate rates. This synergy is as important during comet showers as during quiescent periods and concerns comets with both small and large semi-major axes. We propose different dynamical mechanisms to explain the synergies in the inner and outer parts of the Oort Cloud. We find that the filling of the observable part of the loss cone under normal conditions in the present-day Solar System rises from < 1% for a < 20 000 AU to about 100% for a greater than or similar to 100 000 AU.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 102, no 1-3, 111-132 p.
Galactic tide perturbations, Monte Carlo simulation, Long period comets, Oort Cloud
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150091DOI: 10.1007/s10569-008-9140-yISI: 000260261300009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-150091DiVA: diva2:406443