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Re: bolide physics & Jupiter capture



I'm going to eat some crow (again):
1. If comet Shoemaker-Levy was in Jupiter orbit (which, judging by the number of
   responses I've received, is the case), then I apologize. I was mislead by
   what I had read or heard. I blame the media for not making this clear.  ;)
   My own personal studies in comet perturbations years ago indicated that
   Jupiter often changed comet orbits into Jupiter-crossing solar orbits, but
   I never saw a simulated comet get captured into a Jupiter orbit. This should
   be a relatively very rare event. We are privileged to have witnessed it in
   our lifetime. This certainly biased my interpretation of what the media was
   saying.
2. To Mickey: I apologize for directing his personal response to me back to the
   list. As it turns out Mickey, I didn't embarass you, I embarrassed myself.
   Fair warning to everyone though: I never think to look to see if a mail
   message was directed at the list or to myself personally. If you do not want
   a response directed back to the list, you had better draw my attention to
   that fact.
3. It's true that (solar) orbital dynamics can contribute significantly to
   bolide velocities. I underestimated the effect.
4. It's also true that an object in LOW circular orbit will not be apprecia-
   tively accelerated during a fall to the surface.

I've been having a real bad day. I just got my Corvette back from the engine
rebuilders. They charged my double what they quoted me and the car runs worse
now than when I took it in. My excuse is thus that my mind was elsewhere. After
the beating on the net I will be more cautious about shooting my mouth off.
Except...

>       By DEFINITION ALL comets are captured either by the sun or
>one of the gaseous planets.
>Roger Taylor, Jr.

A comet, by definition, is a relatively small icy body, that releases a tail of
gas when heated by a nearby star. It is speculated that nearby stars' effects
cause the escape of comets from the outer Oort cloud. These comets can travel
through interstellar space, occasionally passing nearby a star, without being
gravitationally bound by it. These would be very fast moving objects, with a
velocity at least as high as the escape velocity of the Sun at it's current
distance.

Scott Horton
humbled Geophysicist/Computer Programmer