Modeling of Cometary Evolution by Kinetic Theory: Method and First Results

  • Marek Banaszkiewicz
  • Hans Rickman
Conference paper


Physical evolution of Jupiter family (JF) comets is considered as a simultaneous process of erosion and fading. Dynamical effects are limited to discrete changes of the perihelion distance, that result in changes of the evaporation rate. Assuming that the JF comet population is in a steady state, a distribution function of this population in the two dimensional phase space consisting of radius and active fraction of the nucleus surface is found as the solution of a set of kinetic equations, each one of them for a different perihelion distance. With use of the distribution function some statistical properties of the comet population, like the total number of comets in the considered region of the phase space, the number of objects that evaporate or get dormant per unit time, etc., are obtained. The cumulative distribution function with respect to the absolute brightness is calculated and compared with the observed one as a check on the considered models.


Erosion Rate Source Function Physical Evolution Dimensional Phase Space Perihelion Distance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brin, G.D. and Mendis, D.A. 1979, Astrophys. J. 229, 422.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Duncan, M., Quinn, T. and Tremaine, S. 1988, Astrophys. J. 328, L69.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Fernández, J.A., Rickman, H. and Kamél, L. 1992, in Proc. of the International Workshop on Periodic Comets, J. Fernandez and H. Rickman (eds.), Montevideo, Uruguay, p. 143.Google Scholar
  4. Hughes, D.W. 1987, Nature 325, 231.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Kresák, L. and Kresáková, M. 1990, Bull. Astron. Inst. Czechosl. 41, 1.ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Rickman, H. 1992, in Interrelations between Physics and Dynamics for Minor Bodies in the Solar System, D. Benest and C. Froeschle (eds.), Gif-sur-Yvette, France, p. 197.Google Scholar
  7. Rickman, H., Fernández, J.A. and Gustafson, B.Å.S. 1990, Astron. Astrophys. 237, 524.ADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Rickman, H., Froeschlé, C., Kamél, L. and Festou, M.C. 1991, Astron. J. 102, 1446.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Rickman, H., Bailey, M.E., Hahn, G. and Tancredi G. 1992, in Proc. of the International Workshop on Periodic Comets, J. Fernandez and H. Rickman (eds.), Montevideo, Uruguay, p. 55.Google Scholar
  10. Weissman, P.R., A’Hearn, M.F., McFadden, L.A. and Rickman, H. 1989, in Asteroids II, R.P. Binzel, T. Gehrels, and M.S. Matthews (eds.), Tucson, Arizona, p. 830.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek Banaszkiewicz
    • 1
  • Hans Rickman
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Research CentreWarszawaPoland
  2. 2.Astronomical ObservatoryUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations