25 January 2001CfA Colloquium

Title:Cold Comets, Collision Codes, and a Possible Link Between the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt

Speaker: S. Alan Stern

Abstract: Both recently-obtained thermal history constraints and new Oort Cloud formation models which include collisional effects in the solar nebula are together forcing a reappraisal of our understanding of the formation sites of long period comets. I will discuss these new developments, as well as new evidence that indicates that the Oort Cloud may be an order of magnitude less massive than expected.

Reference for students:

Triton's Surface Age and Impactor Flux Revisited. Stern, S.A., and W.B. McKinnon. AJ, 119, 945, 2000.

Collision Rates in the Present-Day Kuiper Belt and Centaur Regions: Applications to Surface Activation and Modification on Comets, KBOs, and Pluto-Charon. D.D. Durda and S.A. Stern. Icarus, 145, 220, 2000.

Lunch with the students will be on Thursday, January 25th at 12:30 in A-101.