Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Physics

Numerical Study of Motion of Sun-Grazing Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) Affected by Outgassing, General Relativity, and Oblateness Correction Forces

R. W. Wibowo, B. Dermawan, T. Hidayat, D. Mandey, Ibnu Nurul Huda, I. Tampubolon, J. A. Utama
Corresponding author
Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy), cometary dynamics, N-body.
Among comets there are several groups of Sun-grazers. Sun-grazing comets are comets whose motions encounter very closely to the Sun and may eventually plunge into the Sun. Sun-grazing comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) was not expected to survive during close encounter with the Sun on December 16, 2011 due to the extreme conditions in the corona. We study numerically orbit of the comet during this event. We developed numerical codes of additional forces (i.e. cometary outgassing, general relativity, and the oblateness/quadrupole moment of the Sun) and incorporated them into the new integrator package REBOUND. These additional forces yield small changes in motion of the comet near the event. As expected, at about the event we find that contributions of the general relativity and the outgassing forces to the comet's motion are larger than the oblateness correction of the Sun. This study also shows that the role of the outgassing force may shift event of the next encounter for at least about a hundred days.
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