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Thread: Comet 2017 S3 (Panstarrs)

  1. #1
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    Comet 2017 S3 (Panstarrs)

    Comet 2017 S3 (Panstarrs) is in outburst and could possibly be breaking up.
    http://www.spaceweather.com/

  2. #2
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    This comet has an orbital eccentricity of 1.0000787, making it hyperbolic. It's inclination to the plane of the solar system is about 99 degrees. This makes it seem unlikely that it was kicked into a hyperbolic orbit by a close encounter with Jupiter. We could be looking at a second interstellar comet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross 54 View Post
    This comet has an orbital eccentricity of 1.0000787, making it hyperbolic. It's inclination to the plane of the solar system is about 99 degrees. This makes it seem unlikely that it was kicked into a hyperbolic orbit by a close encounter with Jupiter. We could be looking at a second interstellar comet.
    Probably not, Ross 54. They say this is an Oort cloud comet. Given that the Oort cloud is a spherical shell around the Sun, then comets from there can come in at any angle to the plane of the ecliptic. Hale-Bopp was at ~ 89 degrees. Most of the short period comets derive from the Kuiper Belt, and will be mostly close the plane of the ecliptic.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross 54 View Post
    This comet has an orbital eccentricity of 1.0000787, making it hyperbolic. It's inclination to the plane of the solar system is about 99 degrees. This makes it seem unlikely that it was kicked into a hyperbolic orbit by a close encounter with Jupiter. We could be looking at a second interstellar comet.
    Such a slight current hyperbolic eccentricity could easily be an effect of perturbations by the planets on what was originally a closed orbit, and could drop back to just under 1 as the comet recedes after perihelion. Depending on the orbital geometry and relative positions of the planets it could just as easily remain hyperbolic, never to return and becoming truly interstellar.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross 54 View Post
    This comet has an orbital eccentricity of 1.0000787, making it hyperbolic. It's inclination to the plane of the solar system is about 99 degrees. This makes it seem unlikely that it was kicked into a hyperbolic orbit by a close encounter with Jupiter. We could be looking at a second interstellar comet.
    Comets frequently are reported with eccentricities slightly greater than 1.0 relative to the Sun. However, during the time that they are inbound from beyond the orbit of Neptune their eccentricities relative to the Solar System Barycenter are almost invariably slightly less than 1.0, thus pointing to origination within the Oort Cloud or Kuiper Belt.
    Last edited by Centaur; 2018-Jul-07 at 04:53 PM.
    For astronomical graphics and data visit
    www.CurtRenz.com/astronomy.html

  6. #6
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    Cool

    I've now created two charts and an ephemeris for Comet C/2017 S3 Pan-STARRS.

    They can be viewed at https://www.CurtRenz.com/comets.html

    They do not take into account recent reports of a brightness outburst.
    For astronomical graphics and data visit
    www.CurtRenz.com/astronomy.html

  7. #7
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    I read the other day, that it may be breaking up. In which case, it may fade away in a couple of days. Haven't heard anymore about it.

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