Tidal breakup of comets

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3 Scopus citations


In the context of the survival of periodic comets of different origins, rotational breakup and tidal disruption could be important, especially of the short period comets injected from the Kuiper belt. This is because long-period comets from the distant Oort cloud tend to be subject to thermal stress and volatile 'explosion' far more severely. A simple calculation using the Öpik method of random planetary close encounters was performed to estimate the probability of tidal disruption of comets and scattered Kuiper belt objects (SKBOs) during their orbital migration. It was found that a large fraction of the short period comets and SKBOs might have been internally fragmented by single or multiple close encounters with the outer planets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalCelestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Comets
  • Kuiper belt objects
  • Tidal interaction


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