When an exocomet passes by our Sun in a trajectory that leads it to establish a Solar Orbit what eventually happens to it? In addition to its original inertia and vector being altered what are the longer term affects that occur?


Ice chunks would be melted off during closer approaches, potentially blasting non-ice bits off of the exocomet as it goes. This could affect the trajectory of the exocomet both by the inertial force of the separation and because the mass would be reduced.

Eventually it would run out of water, which means it would no longer be a comet--the streaming tail of gas wouldn't exist anymore, even on closer approaches to the sun. What would remain--assuming anything remained at all--would be a hard rocky core.

From there, the orbit would either stabilize or decay to a point that it crashed into the sun. Even a fairly stable orbit could eventually bring it close to other gravitational bodies in the solar system which could throw it into an unstable orbit, or alternatively, it could collide with a planet or asteroid.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.