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 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 . The resultant peaks are shifted to both sides around the initial peak. For example, the initial peak at the value of perihelion distance about AU (plot a) splits into the main resultant peaks at the values of about 0.85 and AU, and another peak at the value of about 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.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999
Online publication: November 3, 1999