Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 640A, 129-129 (2020/8-1)
A surprise in the updated list of stellar perturbers of long-period comet motion.
WYSOCZANSKA R., DYBCZYNSKI P.A. and POLINSKA M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Context. The second Gaia data release (Gaia DR2) provided us with the precise five-parameter astrometry for 1.3 billion of sources. As stars passing close to the Solar System are thought to influence the dynamical history of long-period comets, we update and extend the list of stars that could potentially perturb the motion of these comets. Aims. We announce a publicly available database containing an up-to-date list of stars and stellar systems potentially perturbing the motion of long-period comets. We add new objects and revise previously published lists. Special emphasis is placed on stellar systems. A discussion of mass estimation is included. Methods. Using the astrometry, preferably from Gaia DR2, augmented with data from other sources, we calculate nominal spatial positions and velocities for each star. To filter studied objects on the basis of their nominal minimum heliocentric distances we numerically integrate the motion of stars under the Galactic potential and their mutual interactions. Results. We announce the updated list of stellar perturbers of cometary motion, including the masses of perturbers along with the publicly available database interface. These data are ready to be used with the observed long-period comets orbits to study an individual influence of a whole sample of perturbers, or specific stars, on a dynamical past or future of a specific comet. New potential perturbers were added; there are 138 more than in the previously published sources. Conclusions. We demonstrate that a new set of prospective perturbers is an important tool in studies of cometary dynamics. The use of our data changes the results of the past and future cometary motion analysis. We point out a puzzling object in our list, star ALS 9243. The Gaia DR2 astrometry suggests a very close encounter of this star with the Sun; however, its astrophysical parameters result in a completely different current distance of ALS 9243 and its high mass.