Thursday, June 10, 2010
Comets May Have Come From Other Stars
New computer modeling suggests that up to 90% of the comets in our Solar System may have formed around other stars.
The comets, which astronomers believe populate the Oort Cloud about 1 light-year from the Sun, would have been captured in the early days of the Solar System's formation, when the Sun was much closer to its sibling stars in the stellar nursery.
The Oort Cloud is thought to lie roughly 50,000 astronomical units from the Sun (an astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun -- about 93,000,000 miles or 150,000,000 km). That makes it more than 1,000 times farther away than Pluto, a member of the Kuiper Belt.