DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 49. KBO and Centaurs I
Oral, Chairs: M. Buie and S. A. Stern, Saturday, September 6, 2003, 3:30-5:40pm, DeAnza III

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[49.13] The origin of short period comets

R. Malhotra (U. Arizona), R.L. Allen (UBC), G.M. Bernstein (U. Penn), M.E. Brown (Caltech), M.J. Holman (CfA), D.E. Trilling (U. Penn)

Our HST-ACS search of 0.02 sq deg of the invariable plane for distant solar system objects finds that the population of comet-sized bodies in the Kuiper Belt is far smaller than expected by extrapolation of the luminosity function of brighter objects. This population falls far short of the estimates based on dynamical models of the Kuiper Belt as a source of the Jupiter family short period comets (JFCs). We will discuss implications of this result for the origin of the JFCs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.