What is a Comet?

What is a Comet ?

A lot of us incorrectly think that a Comet is the same as a Shooting Star.  Well they are very different.  A shooting star or a meteor is a large piece of rock entering the earth’s atmosphere from outer space leaving a bright track for a few seconds in the sky, where as a comet is a almost another planet made up of dirt and ice.

Comets travel around the sun in an oval orbit. At times, when comets are quite close to the sun, sun’s warmth melts some of their ice. This melting ice leaves a trail that looks like comet’s tail. This fuzzy looking tail is called coma. In fact, the name comet comes from a Greek word meaning ‘hair’ as comets were thought to be ‘stars with hair.’

Halley’s Comet is one of the very famous comet. It orbits around the sun in about 200 years. We can see it from Earth about every 75 years. It was last seen in 1986 and will be next seen around 2061. Another famous comet is Shoemaker Levy 9 that actually collided with planet Jupiter!!

 

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