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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COMETS AND THE OORT CLOUD

The Oort cloud is believed to be the source of the long period comets. In fact, comets have been theorized to be residing inside this vast cloud of icy volatiles. Although some comets have been known to originate from the Kuiper Belt due to gravitational interaction between objects in the region, credit can also be given to the Oort cloud. Especially in the case of the long period comets. These comets are have been observed to appear out of nowhere and orbit or smash into the Sun (Cain, 2018).

Studies have also shown that comets contain similar material as those thought to be in the Oort cloud. Such material include water, methane, ethane, traces of organic material and carbon monoxide (Cain, 2018). Comets are propelled from the Oort cloud by the gravitational nudges that throw them into the inner regions of the solar system.

The displaced comets then end up in orbit around the Sun once they reach the heliosphere where the gravity is more influential. Therefore, the relationship between the comets and the Oort cloud is that they contain similar material with the same chemical composition and characteristics.  The Oort cloud is also a known source of comets whenever the objects in the region get gravitational nudges from each other or passing of a nearby stellar body.

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REFERENCES

Cain, F. (2018, October 28). It Came From Depp Space. Retrieved from Universe Today: https://www.universetoday.com/137566/comets-come-exploring-oort-cloud/

 

Angelina's Note:

Blog (4 out of 6) for my Astronomy Class with Professor Micheal Marks.

Bristol Community College, Fall River MA  Fall/Winter 2018

Major: Graphic Design


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