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Astron. Astrophys. 336, 1065-1071 (1998)

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Galactic disc tidal action and observability of the Oort cloud comets

A.J. Maciejewski 1 and H. Pretka 2

1 Toru Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, PL-87100 Toru, Gagarina 11, Poland
2 Astronomical Observatory, Adam Mickiewicz University, PL-60286 Pozna, Soneczna 36, Poland

Received 17 March 1998 / Accepted 19 May 1998


We study qualitatively the effect of the galactic disk potential on the comets from the Oort cloud. The problem is examined in the Hamiltonian formalism. A simple pre-selection criterion for calculating the minimal heliocentric distance of the Oort cloud comets is found. We can use this criterion in a simulation to select a sub-population of potentially observable comets. The proposed criterion is very effective-it rejects about 90% of orbits randomly chosen from the initial population of comets.

Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics – comets: general

Send offprint requests to: H. Pretka

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: July 27, 1998