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Thread: Newly Discovered Cometary Route Sneaks Past Jupiter, but Decreases Risk of Earth Impa

  1. #1
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    Newly Discovered Cometary Route Sneaks Past Jupiter, but Decreases Risk of Earth Impa

    Astronomers have used the comet record — including 2001 RX14 (Linear) at left, captured in 2002 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey — to model a new route for incoming comets that sneaks past Jupiter's gravity.The pathway might even be the dominant one that delivers Oort Could comets on an Earth-bound trajectory, say the authors [...]

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  2. #2
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    The Oort Cloud, comets, it is all so awesome.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    Skepticism

    Since each of Jupiter and Saturn, including their gravitational "fields of significance influence to passing comets" subtend a relatively small solid angle with apex at the sun, it isn't that obvious that they would have a significant net effect on the paths of incoming comets or asteroids. It seems likely that most effects would be mutually cancelling over successive trips through the inner solar system. Also, the Earth spends the larger portion of each year outside the influence cones of these giants. It is prudent to maintain suspicions of the efficacy of models of chaotic systems.

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