When the first comets are seen near Earth, their glowing tails of ionized gas scatter the observers, but with each return, they become smaller.
Comets are ice balls. Therefore, astronomers believe that these objects are less likely to return to Earth because they released more ice and gas when they first visited the solar system inside. The comets melt and decrease because of the heat of the sun, the mind goes away, so when they return, there is less left over for release, and therefore a faint coma.
But a new study by scientists from the University of Oklahoma has found that only comets attach to the solar system inside and remain outside Saturn’s orbit over time. It doesn’t matter because, in those farthest parts of the solar system, the sun’s light is so weak that it can’t melt the comet’s ice.
In a word (opens on new page) regarding new research, scientists believe that something is working, deep in the sky, to change the physical properties of those comets to lead to their disappearance.
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The researchers came to this conclusion when they ran computer simulations of comets traveling in the outer solar system, close to the giant stars Jupiter and Saturn. Experiments have shown that the strong gravity of these stars changes the orbits of comets.
The comets may have started their journey after so -called eccentric elliptical orbits, moving from the farthest parts of the solar system beyond Neptune’s orbit, and then hit the planet. days before it disappeared for centuries. But with each orbit closer to Jupiter and Saturn, the comets are more circular and do not return very far from the sun, the study found.
“So we think there are more comets of the solar system in these orbits compared to those in larger orbits,” said Nathan Kaib, a professor of astronomy at the University of Oklahoma and lead author of the new research.
The only problem is that those results are not exactly what astronomers have actually seen.
“Somewhere, astronomers see the side,” Kaib said. “Distant comets with orbits that are less visible are almost too far apart for astronomers to see, and comets with large orbits are the ones that control our calculation of the external system.”
To explain this further departure, the researchers believe that the comets have faded and that although they are in Saturn’s orbit, they are no longer visible to our telescopes.
“The disappearance between distant comets was found by combining the results of a computer simulation of comet activity with a list of distant comets seen,” Kaib said. “These long -distance comets are very fragile and difficult to detect, and the comet monitoring industry has worked hard to build this list over the past 20 years.
But in order to understand what is working, the telephone needs to be more powerful than scientists can use today. When those findings are available, Kaib and his colleagues say, astronomers will likely find that the outer solar system is full of pale comets.
Astronomers have seen comets orbit between Jupiter and Saturn and constantly explode in strong volcanoes even when it is cold, so it is clear that the “icebergs” can lose their object in the cold. far away from the sun.
An article about the research was published (opens on new page) Wednesday (March 30) in the journal Science Advances.
If you’re looking for a telescope of binoculars to watch comets, check out our guide to the best binoculars and best telescope scans right now. Our best photographers for astrophotophoto and best lenses for astrophotography guides are tips for choosing the best photographers to take pictures.
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