Stott and comets

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 16:54:11 -0500

Stott is reported to believe,
>> 24. The theory of the Oort cloud is totally unproven, along with any
>> traveling neighbor star. The orbits of comets show that they could not
>> have come from such a symmetrical source. Therefore the solar system is
>> young.

I would like to agree with what David Campbell wrote. I began my college
career as an astronomy major and ended with a minor and a life long interest
in the topic. Anyone who can believe what Stott does above, is simply not
reading any astronomical scientific literature. First, the simple fact that
5 to 6 brand new comets each year are found tells one that they are coming
from somewhere (see Robert H. Baker and Laurence W. Frederick An
Introduction to Astronomy, 1968, p.159)

Second, the Kuiper belt has been observed with the hubble telescope. Here
is some info from relevant scientific journals from the layman's level to
Astrophysical Journal:

"Subsequent searches have now found a total of 23 trans-
neptunian objects, 12 of them beyond 40 AU. Jewitt and Luu
(along with several co-workers) have continued to be the leaders
in the search for Kuiper belt objects, finding 15 of the 23,
including the most distant one, 1992 ES2 at 46.2 AU. The largest
objects are each around 360 km in diameter: 1994 VK8, found by
Alan Fitzsimmons and colleagues, and 1995 DC2, found by Luu and
"The numbers are now sufficient to attempt some inferences
on the total population of Kuiper belt comets. Jewitt and Luu do
this in a paper published earlier this month. Their first seven
discoveries came after searching 1.2 square degrees of the sky
with a CCD camera on the 2.2-metre University of Hawaii telescope
on Mauna Kea. Based on these numbers, Jewitt and Luu estimate
that there are at least 35,000 Kuiper belt objects with diameters
greater than 100 km between 30 and 50 AU from the Sun, assuming
that orbits in the Kuiper belt are confined to inclinations less
than 80. If each of these objects has a density of 1.0 g cm-3,
then their total mass is around 2 X 10 25 g, or about 0.003 Earth
masses. Jewitt and Luu also noted that past searches by other
astronomers limit the diameter of the largest objects within 50
AU of the Sun to about 600 km. The larger sizes of Pluto and
Charon (with diameters of about 2,400 and 1,200 km, respectively)
may mean that they were accretional 'runaways', bodies that grew
massive enough to begin gobbling up some of the smaller objects
in the Kuiper belt." ~Paul Weissman, "Bodies on the Brink",
Nature, April 27, 1995, p. 763
"The power of the repaired Hubble Space Telescope has been
turned to the search for Kuiper belt objects. Search fields were
taken by Anita Cochran and colleagues and are now undergoing
analysis. Their preliminary results suggest that they have
detected 50 to 60 objects down to diameters of 10 to 20 km, in
the first field that has been examined. More detailed analyses
of their images are eagerly awaited."~Paul Weissman, "Bodies on
the Brink", Nature, April 27, 1995, p. 763

Some astronomers initially doubted whether our discovery of
QB1 truly signified the existence of a population of objects in
the outer solar system, as Kuiper and others had hypothesized.
But such questioning began to fade when we found a second body
in march 1993. This object is as far from the sun as QB1 but is
located on the opposite side of the solar system. During the
past three years, several other research groups have joined the
effort, and a steady stream of discoveries has ensued. The
current count of trans-Neptunian, Kuiper belt objects is
32."~Jane X Luu and David C. Jewitt, "The Kuiper Belt",
Scientific American, May, 1996, p..51

"Cochran et al. reported exciting evidence, near the limit of HST's
capabilities, for numerous objects with V-band magnitudes of ~28.6,
corresponding to comet-like diameters of a few kilometres to ~10
km. This evidence corresponds to a population of several hundred
million comets-sized objects. If this result is coupled with
models that predict the ratio of the population detected in the
region searched by Cochran to the entire trans-neptunian zone, a
total population is calculated of several billion comets in the 30-
50 AU region. As such, it appears that the Kuiper belt is indeed
the source region of most JFC, as dynamical simulations
predict."~Alan Stern and Humberto Campins,"Chiron and the Centaurs:
escapees from the Kuiper Belt." Nature 382, August 8, 1996, p. 507-
510, p. 507

"We have used HST's WFPC2 to deduce that there are a
substantial number of Halley-sized objects in a disklike structure
in the region near and beyond the orbit of Neptune. We found 29
objects with radii ranging from 5 to 10km (4% albedo) in the orbits
discussed in &3. Our observations imply there are ~25,000 objects
deg-2 brighter than V-28.6. Thus, there are >2 x 10 8 comets in this
size range in orbits similar to the ones we have studied here.
Combining this number with the size distribution shown in Figure 3
and assuming a density of 0.5 g cm-3 implies a total of 0.02 Earth
masses of 5-10 km comets in this region of the Kuiper belt."~A. L.
Cochran et al, "The Discovery of Halley-sized Kuiper Belt Objects
using the Hubble Space Telescope," The Astrophysical Journal,
455:342-346, 1995 Dec. 10, p. 345-346


Foundation, Fall and Flood