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Where Do Baby Comets Come From?

comets oort cloud hills cloud solar system

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:28 PM

Where Do Baby Comets Come From?


news.discovery.com said:

Comets are enigmatic celestial objects that have captivated mankind through history. Their long, bright tails often dazzle as they approach the sun, but they can be a destructive force, pulverizing planetary surfaces throughout the evolution of the solar system.

But where do these interplanetary interlopers come from? As it turns out, that's far from an easy question to answer.

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#2    freetoroam

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:42 PM

I know stork is not the answer.






Wait for slapped wrist from Waspie. :cry:

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:45 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 07 May 2013 - 08:42 PM, said:

Wait for slapped wrist from Waspie. :cry:
Not at all. However if you had said that stork WAS the answer...

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#4    shrooma

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:55 PM

storks! not very scientific freet!
now, if you'd said 'mummy & daddy comets.....'
(you'd have sore wrists?)
:-)

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#5    shrooma

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:04 PM

it's a shame that Voyager's batteries will be dead long before it hits the oort-hills clouds, as it could confirm or deny their existences.
also, we'd be able to tell whether or not it'd been destroyed in a possible collision, but as it stands, we'll never know.....

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#6    Lilly

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:20 AM

So, does this mean the Oort Cloud is kind of a celestial 'cabbage patch' for the formation of baby comets?

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#7    Abramelin

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:38 PM

From the article:

"Unfortunately, no man-made spacecraft has reached the distance of the Oort Cloud and space observatories aren't powerful enough to prove its existence, so for now, it will remain a topic for debate. One thing is for certain though, long period comets will continue to unexpectedly appear out of the depths of space, like a whale from the depths of the oceans. Quite where they come from though will remain a mystery."

In short: they don't know, yet.


#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:50 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 08 May 2013 - 03:38 PM, said:

In short: they don't know, yet.
Not entirely accurate. I would dispute the article's use of the word "mystery," as it is misleading. The Oort cloud almost certainly exists, it just hasn't been observed. It would be truer to say, "in short the can't prove where they come from yet."

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:57 PM

I detest the word "mystery" in a scientific context.  It has such a Discovery Channel flavor to it.  "Unknown" is so much better.


#10    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:04 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 08 May 2013 - 04:57 PM, said:

I detest the word "mystery" in a scientific context.  It has such a Discovery Channel flavor to it.  "Unknown" is so much better.

I wholeheartedly agree.

I always have misgivings posting Discovery articles. On the one hand they are often on interesting subjects, but on the other they often have the sloppy and sensationalist journalism of a tabloid newspaper.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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