3D Simulation of the Orbital Motions of the Comets


We have performed simulation of the orbital motions of the comets relative to the nine
planets based on a solar system simulator {1}. The orbital data are obtained from the
Minor Planet Center (MPC). As much as 132 comets were used in this simulation. The
results show that the orbits of the comets scatter widely from the inner solar system up
to a region very far from the Pluto's orbit. This orbital distribution suggests that the
comets are originated from a region far away from the Sun. Some comets have orbits
crossing the Earth's orbit so that they are potential to collide with the Earth in the
future. By comparing to the distribution of the asteroids' orbits, as well as based on the
observations and the results of two-dimensional hydrodynamics computer simulation
{B], some comets may become asteroids when they break-up and their gas and icy
water evaporate completely. Keywords: solar system simulator, comets, orbital motions, virtual worlds Bachtiar Anwar Division of Applied Geomagnetism and Space Electromagnetism
National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) JI. Dr. Junjunan 133, Bandung 40173, Indonesia E-mail: