Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 341–351

Structure and Dynamics of the Centaur Population: Constraints on the Origin of Short-Period Comets

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11038-006-9095-5

Cite this article as:
Emel’yanenko, V. Earth Moon Planet (2005) 97: 341. doi:10.1007/s11038-006-9095-5

Abstract

The origin of Jupiter-family comets is linked to the intermediate stage of evolution through the Centaur region. Thus the structure of the Centaur population provides important constraints on sources of short-period comets. We show that our model of the Oort cloud evolution gives results which are consistent with the orbital distribution of observed Centaurs. In particular, it explains the existence of the large population of Centaurs with semimajor axes greater than 60 AU. The main source for these objects is the inner Oort cloud. Both Jupiter-family and Halley-type comets are produced by Centaurs originating from the Oort cloud. The injection rate for Jupiter-family comets coming from the inner Oort cloud is, at least, not less than that for a model based on the observed sample of high-eccentricity trans-Neptunian objects.

Key words:

CentaurscometsdynamicsOort Cloudorigintrans-Neptunian objects

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computational and Celestial MechanicsSouth Ural UniversityChelyabinskRussia