Alan Fitzsimmons

Comets Near and Not-That-Far

Over 3,500 cometary bodies have been discovered orbiting our Sun. Since 1950, planetary scientists have come to understand the interlinked aspects of their origin, their dynamical evolution, and their compositional makeup. While the majority of Solar system comets share similar gross properties, detailed understanding eludes us in several aspects for many individual objects. Additionally, the exocomets observed to date will be unlike most of Solar system comets seen in modern times. But it is (probably) justifiable to start with the assumption that exocomets behave in a similar manner to our own. This talk will give a brief overview of our current understanding of the dynamics, physical characteristics and compositions of comets in our Solar system. It will also act as an introduction for the talks and discussions later in the workshop.