All comets in the solar system might come from the same place

All comets in the solar system might come from the same place
This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 7 July 2015 from a distance of 154 km from the comet centre. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

All comets might share their place of birth, new research says. For the first time ever, astronomer Christian Eistrup applied chemical models to fourteen well-known comets, surprisingly finding a clear pattern. His publication has been accepted in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Comets: balls of ice or more?

Comets travel through our and are composed of ice, dust, and small rock-like particles. Their nuclei can be as large as tens of kilometers across. "Comets are everywhere, and sometimes with very funky orbits around the Sun. In the past, comets even have hit the Earth," Christian Eistrup says. "We know what comets consist of and which molecules are present in them. They vary in composition, but are normally seen as just one group of icy balls. Therefore, I wanted to know whether comets are indeed one group, or whether different subsets can be made."

A new take on comets

"What if I apply our existing chemical models to comets?", Eistrup thought during his Ph.D. at Leiden University. In the research team at Leiden Observatory, which included Kavli Prize winner Ewine van Dishoeck, he developed models to predict the chemical composition of protoplanetary discs—flat discs of gas and dust encompassing . Understanding these discs can give insight into how stars and planets form. Conveniently, these Leiden models turned out to be of help in learning about comets and their origins.

"I thought it would be interesting to compare our chemical models with published data on comets," says the astronomer. "Luckily, I had the help of Ewine. We did some statistics to pin down if there was a special time or place in our young solar system, where our chemical models meet the data on comets." This happened to be the case, and to a surprising extent. Where the researchers hoped for a number of comets sharing similarities, it turned out that all fourteen comets showed the same trend. "There was a single model that fitted each best, thereby indicating that they share their origin."

Credit: Leiden University

Ice-cold

And that origin is somewhere close to our young Sun, when it was still encircled by a protoplanetary disc and our planets were still forming. The suggests a zone around the Sun, inside the range where becomes ice—relatively far away from the nucleus of the young Sun. "At these locations, the temperature varies from 21 to 28 Kelvin, which is around minus 250 degrees Celsius. That's very cold, so cold that almost all the molecules we know are ice.

"From our models, we know that there are some reactions taking place in the ice phase—although very slowly, in a time-frame of 100,000 to 1 million years. But that could explain why there are different comets with different compositions."

But if comets come from the same place, how do they end up in different places and orbits in our solar system? "Although we now think they formed in similar locations around the young Sun, the orbits of some of these comets could be disturbed—for instance by Jupiter—which explains the different orbits."

Comet data hunter

As befits a scientist, Eistrup places some side-notes to his publication. "With only fourteen comets, the sample is quite small. That's why I'm currently hunting for data on many more comets, to run them through our models and further test our hypothesis." Eistrup also hopes that astronomers that study the origin of our solar system and its evolution can use his results. "Our research suggests that comets have formed during the period they're studying, so this new information might give them new insights."

He is also keen to get in touch with other comet researchers. "Because we show a new trend, I would like to discuss what other astronomers think of our research."

The seeds of life

Comets and life on Earth, they go hand in hand. "We still don't know how life on Earth began. But the chemistry on comets could lead to the production of organic molecules, including some building blocks for life. And if the right comet hits the right planet, with the right environment, life could start growing," Eistrup concludes. So, interestingly, understanding the birth of comets potentially could help us understand the birth of life on Earth.


Explore further

Image: ESA, NASA's SOHO sees bright sungrazer comet

More information: Cometary compositions compared with protoplanetary disk midplane chemical evolution. An emerging chemical evolution taxonomy for comets. arXiv:1907.11255 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1907.11255
Journal information: Astronomy & Astrophysics

Provided by Leiden University
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Sep 09, 2019
Interesting study. I'll shall have to have a look at the literature, as I'm sure I have read a recent paper on comet 67P that suggests otherwise. However, that could be my memory playing up!

Sep 09, 2019
Interesting study. I'll shall have to have a look at the literature, as I'm sure I have read a recent paper on comet 67P that suggests otherwise. However, that could be my memory playing up!


67P was one of the comets included in the study.
https://arxiv.org...1255.pdf

Sep 09, 2019
Interesting study. I'll shall have to have a look at the literature, as I'm sure I have read a recent paper on comet 67P that suggests otherwise. However, that could be my memory playing up!


67P was one of the comets included in the study.
https://arxiv.org...1255.pdf


Yes, I saw that. However, I think I read a recent paper on 67P that made a case for comets originating in different places within the disk. I have so many papers from that mission that I'm struggling to locate the relevant one. Assuming I remembered correctly.

Sep 10, 2019
All comets in the solar system might come from the same place

Yep, ripped from planetary surfaces during catastrophic epochs.

Sep 10, 2019
All comets in the solar system might come from the same place

Yep, ripped from planetary surfaces during catastrophic epochs.


Lol. Take your scientifically impossible woo somewhere else.

Sep 10, 2019
uhh, cant deer boy
once again you are attempting to shoot bullets,
in reverse.
up the barrel of a pistol
as a means to load it

Sep 12, 2019
While the presence of an ultra tiny brown dwarf star in our solar system does not explain the presence of all Earth threatening comets, it does explain the source of most of the dangerous ones:
http://barry.warm...led.html
VULCAN REVEALED
A Dangerous New Jovian Sized Body In Our Solar System
Vulcan seems to be very similar to Planet Nine in terms of orbital inclination and semi-major axis:
http://barry.warm...led.html#5
Note how the comets it has drawn out of the Kuiper Belt have caused disasters here on Earth:
http://barry.warm...led.html#8

Sep 12, 2019
NASA seems to agree with this threat assessment. See articles directly from NASA:
http://barry.warm...d.html#v
DATA SUPPORTING WARNING OF THE B SWARM CLUSTER 1 COMETS
NASA knows that the celestial impact threat is real and that it is comets, not asteroids. So NASA is launching the DART mission to deflect the comet. NASA is pretending their target is the moon of an asteroid (Didymos), but they are really practicing against a theoretical comet. NASA is really preparing to strike a real comet (one of Vulcan's B Comet Swarm) that will threaten Earth in September/October 2021, 2022 or 2023. Early October 2022 is the most likely time of arrival of the real threat. Earth has already been hit by fragments from the leading edge of the B Comet Swarm that struck NH and CA during early October 2017 and caused massive wild fires.

Sep 12, 2019
^^^^^ Just when you thought this place couldn't get any crazier!

Sep 12, 2019
Good to have such discerning readers on this message thread:
NASA CHIEF WARNS ASTEROID THREAT IS REAL: 'IT'S NOT ABOUT MOVIES - May 1, 2019
https://www.ibtim...-2789108
Asteroids could very well hit Earth in the near future and cause widespread destruction, according to NASA.
NASA's administrator emphasized the significance of planetary defense in protecting people against possible asteroid and comet impacts during his introductory speech

KEEP LOOKING UP!

Sep 12, 2019
Good to have such discerning readers on this message thread:
NASA CHIEF WARNS ASTEROID THREAT IS REAL: 'IT'S NOT ABOUT MOVIES - May 1, 2019
https://www.ibtim...-2789108
Asteroids could very well hit Earth in the near future and cause widespread destruction, according to NASA.
NASA's administrator emphasized the significance of planetary defense in protecting people against possible asteroid and comet impacts during his introductory speech

KEEP LOOKING UP!


Errrr, we know asteroids hit Earth. There is a bloody great hole in the Yucatan to prove it! Among others.

In real comet news, it looks like we may have another interstellar visitor;

https://www.newsc...d-earth/

Sep 12, 2019
Rocks ripped from rocky planets, fused into bi-lobed comets by the arc discharges that strike the surface. These bi-lobed objects ejected from the rocky surfaces at great speed into elliptical orbits, these orbits with which enable these rocks to achieve charge differential with respect to the Sun. A charged bi-lobed rock with sharp geologic formations, current swept dunes, geological strata just as on Earth, surrounded by dusty currents initiating cathodic jets which erode the rocky surface while making volumes of water via electrochemical reactions.
Yes, all comets originate from planetary surfaces during catastrophic events.

https://vimeo.com/347565673

Sep 12, 2019
Rocks ripped from rocky planets, fused into bi-lobed comets by the arc discharges that strike the surface. These bi-lobed objects ejected from the rocky surfaces at great speed into elliptical orbits, these orbits with which enable these rocks to achieve charge differential with respect to the Sun. A charged bi-lobed rock with sharp geologic formations, current swept dunes, geological strata just as on Earth, surrounded by dusty currents initiating cathodic jets which erode the rocky surface while making volumes of water via electrochemical reactions.
Yes, all comets originate from planetary surfaces during catastrophic events.

https://vimeo.com/347565673


Hahahahahahahahahaha! Scientifically impossible BS, with not a jot of evidence in favour of it, and an absolute shed load against. Pure woo. Velikovskian crap.

Sep 13, 2019
Astronomer Van Flanderen thought the asteroid belt was generated by a tiny exploded planet. I agree with him, and I think some planetary rings are made from exploded planetary satellites. Moreover the Kuiper belt is made of exploded TNO's.
Apparently, the major incoming comets are Kuiper Belt red and I have only ever seen (?) one such red comet in my lifetime (maybe?). Comets are only white or green (I think). Please tell me if I am wrong.

Sep 13, 2019
NASA's administrator said 'the near future'. The Yucatán event was 65 million years ago.

Sep 13, 2019
NASA's administrator said 'the near future'. The Yucatán event was 65 million years ago.


Well, maybe that's why he's an administrator! Unless he's psychic. I'm sure he is just talking up a proposal that requires funding. And good for him. We do need to keep an eye out for these things. However, the expected time interval between Chicxulub size impacts is (iirc) ~ 100 M yrs. It could be next year. It might not be for 50 M yrs.

Sep 13, 2019
NASA's DART impactor will be in place in late Sep. 2022. I say the B Comet swarm will threaten Earth early Oct 2022. NASA's threatening comet has a period of several thousand years. The B comet swarm (cluster 1) has a period of 3313 +/- 250 years. NASA's comet is in a retrograde orbit with an inclination of 129 degrees. If the B comet swarm is in a retrograde orbit, and was formed parallel to Vulcan( Planet Nine), it's orbital inclination is 180 - 48.44 = 131.56 degrees. But that value is +/- a few degrees if it formed above or below Vulcan. The seven major comets of the B swarm likely will not threaten Earth, but the cometary fragments between them may. It seems to me that NASA and I are on the same page.

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