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Comet Hartley 2

Introduction

This simulation shows Comet 103P/Hartley 2, which had close encounters with Jupiter in 1971 and 1947 which dramatically changed its orbit, as a result of which its perihelion is now much closer to the Sun than it used to be.

The simulation also contains the Sun, together with all known planets.

What you can do with it

If you run the simulation forward, you can watch the close approaches to Earth in October 2010 and September 2023, followed by close encounters with Jupiter in 2054, 2065, 2076, and 2088. Each of the close encounters with Jupiter changes the orbit of the comet, but none of the changes are particularly dramatic.

If you run the simulation backward, you can watch the close encounters with Jupiter in 2005, 1993, 1982, 1971, and 1947. Each of the close encounters with Jupiter changes the orbit of the comet, with the changes in 1971 and 1947 being particularly dramatic.

Ideas for further investigation

You can find out more from the following website:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/102632669.html


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