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Astron. Astrophys. 351, 752-758 (1999)

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3. Orbital evolution of 14P/Wolf stream

The distributions of orbital elements of modelled particles associated with comet 14P/Wolf are demonstrated in Fig. 1, plots a-f. The value [FORMULA] is considered in this modelling. In each plot, the distributions for every 11 outputs of numerical integration are drawn. A characteristic feature of all the behaviours is a splitting of the initial sharp peak to two or more milder peaks after an elapsed time [FORMULA]. The resultant peaks are shifted to both sides around the initial peak. For example, the initial peak at the value of perihelion distance about [FORMULA]AU (plot a) splits into the main resultant peaks at the values of about 0.85 and [FORMULA]AU, and another peak at the value of about [FORMULA]AU. In such a way, a quasi-stable dynamical structure of two-strand corridor of the stream can be recognized. A more detailed study shows that the individual particles of a stream can move from one strand to another, and also move to an orbit crossing the orbit of the Earth. It indicates our idea on the detectable meteor shower associated with a comet in a distant orbit, suggested in the introduction, is not only a theoretical possibility.

[FIGURE] Fig. 1a-f. The distributions of orbital elements of the modelled meteor stream associated with comet 14P/Wolf. The theoretical stream is modelled considering [FORMULA]. The evolution of orbital elements of the stream is analysed during the period from May 3.56978, 1905 to June 28.70888, 1987, which covers 10 orbital periods of the parent comet. In each plot, the distributions at the beginning of evolution as well as at the end of each period are given. Perihelion distance is given in AU, angular elements in degrees.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: November 3, 1999
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