How do Oort cloud objects stay in orbit?

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Offline thedoc

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How do Oort cloud objects stay in orbit?
« on: 09/04/2013 09:30:01 »
David Gould asked the Naked Scientists:
Are objects in the Oort cloud gravitationally held in place by the Sun or some other force?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 09/04/2013 09:30:01 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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Re: How do Oort cloud objects stay in orbit?
« Reply #1 on: 09/04/2013 12:02:48 »
The following interactive map shows the hypothesised size and location of the Oort Cloud around the Sun (click the tour button in the top-left corner).

There ought to be similar cometary halos around other stars in our galaxy.

As these stars follow their separate orbits around the galaxy, it is expected that they will sometimes pass the Oort Cloud, disturbing the orbits of the icy objects there, and sometimes deflecting them into the inner solar system. The Sun will have a similar impact on these other Oort clouds.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2013 12:49:15 by evan_au »