Cometary trajectories

Forums Comets gb00234, a bright interstellar comet? Cometary trajectories

Dr Paul Leyland

I’d expect more to come from the hemisphere around the solar apex but we’re going to be in the small number statistics regime for a long time yet.  Even if interstellar objects are found annually it will be a few decades before the statistics are good enough to make a definitive statement.

I see very little chance of determining their original star.  Unless they were ejected very recently from a very close neighbour the perturbations from other stars will make the trajectory very curvy.  It takes a long time to travel anywhere at only 30km/s (chosen because it make the arithmetic easier — it is 0.0001c).  At that speed it takes over 3 million years to travel 100 parsecs — close by in galactic terms.