Comets & Asteroids
- A comet is an object in space made out of ice and dust.
- Comets were formed around 4.6 billion years ago.
- Comets were formed in space.
- Comets are formed from the left over material from where the planets formed.
- A comet is smaller than a planet and the gravitational pull from the surrounding planets and moons have a greater effect on the orbit. The course of a comet can be changed as it passes near something with a greater gravitational pull than itself.
- The planets have a set course for their orbit. A comet does not have a set orbit it just floats through space.
- A comet looks like a ball with a tail with the naked eye.
- A comet has a tail when it close to the sun because when it comes close to the sun the ice melts and becomes a solid vapor releasing the dust and the solar wind creates a tail.
Chasing Comets in space
- An asteroid is a rocky body orbiting the sun.
- In space, a large rocky body in orbit around the sun is an asteroid. Smaller particles orbiting around the sun is a meteorite. When a meteorite enters the earths atmosphere and vaporizes it becomes a meteor.
- Objects that have been pushed by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to come close to earth.
- An important asteroid is the asteroid that hit earth 65 million years ago. This asteroid was a 10-kilometer asteroid hit north of the Yucatan Peninsula causing a global firestorm and killed the dinosaurs.
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