News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Halley's Origins Mysterious No More?

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Science  10 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5494, pp. 1071
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5494.1071b

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Advances in computer power have allowed dynamical astronomers to "see" the inner part of the Oort cloud for the first time and thereby posit the origin of comet Halley and others with similar orbits. They believe it's the innermost part of the Oort cloud, within a distance from the sun of 20,000 times the sun-Earth distance, or 20,000 astronomical units. If the findings, reported at last month's meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Pasadena, California, hold up, they would nail down the location and layout of the last unknown source of comets.