Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors

By: Sierra McKenna and Kayla Jacobs


Comet are loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles whose orbits are usually very long, narrow eclipses. The outside of a comet is called a coma. The solid inner core of a comet is called a nucleus. A tail is formed as a comet heats up. Gases and dust stream outward forming the tail. The nucleus of a comet is about six miles wide and it changes depending how close it is to the Sun. Most comets are found in the Kuiper belt or the Oort cloud of the solar system.


Asteroids are rocky objects revolving around the sun that are too small and numerous to be considered planets. Most asteroids revolve around the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This region is called the asteroid belt. Most asteroids are less than a kilometer in diameter. Ceres, Pallas, and Vesta, are specific names of asteroids that are the three largest asteroids in the asteroid belt.


A meteoroid is a is a chunk of rock or dust in space. Meteoroids come from comets or asteroids. When the meteoroid enters through Earth's atmosphere, friction and creates heat and produces a streak of light. This streak of light is called a meteor. Meteoroids that pass through Earth's atmosphere and hit Earth's surface are called meteorites.