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Faye's Comet




Originally a long-period comet that was deflected by a close passage of Jupiter into a much smaller orbit with a period of 7.34 years, just before its discovery in 1843. The solar heating of Faye's nucleus is such that gas and dust are not emitted from the subsolar point, that is, where it is noon on the comet, but from a spot on the afternoon section. The jet effect that results gradually changes the comet's orbit. Moreover, the jet itself seems to be shifting position, because of precession of the comet's spin axis, which modifies the orbit still further.


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   • COMETS