K. Sárneczky, Gy M. Szabó, B. Csák, J. Kelemen, G. Marschalkó, A. Pál, R. Szakáts, T. Szalai, E. Szegedi-Elek, P. Székely, K. Vida, J. Vinkó, L. L. Kiss

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Remote investigations of ancient matter in the solar system have traditionally been carried out through observations of long-period (LP) comets, which are less affected by solar irradiation than their short-period counterparts orbiting much closer to the Sun. Here we summarize the results of our decade-long survey of the distant activity of LP comets. We found that the most important separation in the data set is based on the dynamical nature of the objects. Dynamically new comets are characterized by a higher level of activity on average: the most active new comets in our sample can be characterized by Afρ values >3-4, higher than those for our most active returning comets. New comets develop more symmetric comae, suggesting a generally isotropic outflow. In contrast to this, the comae of recurrent comets can be less symmetrical, ocassionally exhibiting negative slope parameters, which suggest sudden variations in matter production. The morphological appearance of the observed comets is rather diverse. A surprisingly large fraction of the comets have long, tenuous tails, but the presence of impressive tails does not show a clear correlation with the brightness of the comets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Oort Cloud
  • comets: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Sárneczky, K., Szabó, G. M., Csák, B., Kelemen, J., Marschalkó, G., Pál, A., Szakáts, R., Szalai, T., Szegedi-Elek, E., Székely, P., Vida, K., Vinkó, J., & Kiss, L. L. (2016). ACTIVITY of 50 LONG-PERIOD COMETS beyond 5.2 au. Astronomical Journal, 152(6), [220].