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Calculations of orbits

  1. Apr 18, 2008 #1
    Hello I have a question about calculations of orbits. Mostly my question is about Comet orbits and eccentricity and period. To help myself learn more about orbits I'm witting a simple calculator for myself so I can better grasp it. I'm getting the orbital elements from the MPC website ( I cant post the url as I need 15 posts )

    for a elliptical orbit e > 0 and e < 1
    While Periodic Comets e (eccentricity)
    name eccentricity
    17P 0.432668
    26P 0.633008
    180P 0.357635
    P/2006 HR30 0.842973

    I see alot of comets list that have a e > 0 and e < 1 and they are not listed as a periodic comet.
    name eccentricity
    C/2006 M4 0.999933
    C/2007 E2 0.999235
    C/2007 T5 0.913398

    This is just a few, but shouldn't they be listed as a periodic comet also?

    I understand to get the semi major axis a = q/(1 − e)
    and then to get the period is [tex]T=\sqrt{a^3}[/tex]

    Comet C/2007 B2 Skiff
    e 0.995869
    q 2.974897

    I get
    a =720.13967562334
    T = 19325.249433634 years

    Does the IAU have a limit on the period time that they count a comet as periodic? I could not find it on their website.

    thank you

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  2. jcsd
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