MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: How did Comet LINEAR end up in the Oort Cloud? (2nd query, see Comments)

Date: Mon May 21 14:37:40 2001
Posted by Michael Price
Grade level: 10-12 School: n.a.
City: Vancouver State/Province: BC Country: Canada
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 990470260.As

My original query was:

News reports suggest that, due to a rocky core-melange covered with ice rather 
than ice containing some rock, Comet LINEAR probably formed near the early Sun. 
If so, how did it end up in the Oort Cloud, so far from that Sun? Which 
garnered this reply: "A question similar to yours has been answered on our 

However, with respect, the information under that heading assumes all comets in 
the Oort formed there and could be assumed to be in situ_; my query was how a 
comet presumed to have formed closer to the Sun could have transported itself 
to the putative Oort Cloud. There is no information on this. I could 
hypothesise a Jovian slingshot into the outer Solar System, which of course 
raises the question of how many of the Oort Cloud comets actually formed there 
and how many came to reside there by some other mechanism than _in situ_ 
formation. For example, are they all home-grown, or could some of them have 
been acquired in the past from some other star's Cloud during a close fly-by? 
Could interstellar space be cluttered with cast-off cometary and asteroidal 
bodies from star-to-star fly-bys (with all the implications for the safety of 
interstallar spaceflight that entails)? Any information welcome.

Re: How did Comet LINEAR end up in the Oort Cloud? (2nd query, see Comments)

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