All Book Series by Susan May Warren
Five Facts About Comets
Comets, Meteors and Asteroids
A comet is a very small solar system body made mostly of ices mixed with smaller amounts of dust and rock. Most comets are no larger than a few kilometres across. The main body of the comet is called the nucleus, and it can contain water, methane, nitrogen and other ices. The mixture of ice crystals and dust blows away from the comet nucleus in the solar wind, creating a pair of tails. The dust tail is what we normally see when we view comets from Earth. The plasma tail is not normally seen with the naked eye, but can be imaged. Comets normally orbit the Sun, and have their origins in the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt regions of the outer solar system.
Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun. When frozen, they are the size of a small town. When a comet's orbit brings it close to the Sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets. The dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the Sun for millions of miles. There are likely billions of comets orbiting our Sun in the Kuiper Belt and even more distant Oort Cloud. The current number of known comets is:.
Amanda is a retired educator with many years of experience teaching children of all ages and abilities in a wide range of contexts. A comet is an icy object which orbits the sun. It produces steam when it nears the sun and develops a tail of dust and gas. An asteroid is a small rocky object in the solar system. Asteroids range in size from km miles across down to dust particles. Comets are chunks of ice and rock left over from the birth of the solar system. Astronomers believe that these icy rocks are located in a zone called the Oort cloud, named after the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort to , that lies beyond the furthest planet in the solar system.
Rocky asteroids sometimes crash into planets or their moons, Fascinating facts about comets, meteors, asteroids, and meteorites | Source.
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Some comets have highly elliptical orbits that bring them relatively close to the Sun. As these comets near the Sun the ices found within them melt and brilliant features are formed. Below is a list of these features.
Our solar system is filled with all sorts of interesting objects. Scientists are continuously studying these objects. Asteroids and comets are two kinds of bodies that orbit our sun and that scientists are still learning more about. Recent scientific studies have put asteroids and comets in the news. Let's take a closer look. Asteroids are rocky structures without atmospheres, and as far as we know, also without life. Most of the asteroids in our solar system are located in a group known as the Asteroid Belt which is located between Mars and Jupiter.