The absolute magnitude and perihelion distributions of long-period comets are derived, using data from the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey. The results are surprising in three ways. First, the flux of comets through the inner solar system is much lower than some previous estimates. Second, the expected rise in comet numbers to larger perihelia is not seen. Third, the number of comets per unit absolute magnitude does not significantly rise to fainter magnitudes. These...[Show more]
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