Comets are small solar system bodies that orbit around the Sun. They have a tail (trail of light) when traveling in space.
Asked in Astronomy, Comets
Do any comets have orbits that come near the Earth?
Yes. Every periodic meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet, usually an extinct one. But also keep in mind that good astronomical records only go back about 500 years, and even half-way decent records go back only two thousand years - and a lot of those are probably in ancient Chinese manuscripts that have never been translated or published. The Earth has been around for 4.5 BILLION years. There are a lot of long-term comets that we don't know about yet. And new comets drop by every once in a while, and eventually one will fall into the solar system on a path that will intersect the Earth's orbit. Eventually, we'll be hit... again.
Asked in Comets
What is the name of Earths next comet?
Aside from the regular short-period and dim comets, not noticed by the average person (such as Comet Encke or Comet Tuttle 1) the next comet we can be reasonably sure of seeing is good old Comet Halley, next scheduled to appear in July of 2061. But there will almost certainly be at least one or two large, bright comets visible on earth before then - we just don't know when they will be. Comets, even large, spectacular comets, are frequently just discovered about 4-9 months before they become a great display in the night sky. None meeting the criteria are in sight right now - but stay tuned.
Asked in Astronomy, Clouds, Comets
The number of comets in the Oort cloud is probably about?
Asked in Astronomy, Asteroids, Comets
What is an asteroid?
Asteroids, sometimes called minor planets or planetoids, are small rocky bodies in orbit around the Sun, especially in the inner Solar System; they are smaller than planets but larger than meteoroids. The term "asteroid" has historically been applied primarily to minor planets of the inner Solar System, as the outer Solar System was poorly known when it came into common usage. Most known asteroids are found in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter, or in the Kuiper Belt past the orbit of Neptune. But there are thousands that orbit at least as close to the Sun as Earth. The vast majority of asteroids are smaller than 1 kilometer in diameter. The largest asteroid in the Main Belt is Ceres, which has been designated a dwarf planet. The distinction between asteroids and comets is made on visual appearance: comets show a perceptible lighted envelope or aura while asteroids do not. This is caused by the release of volatile substances, mostly frozen gases, from the comets' interiors. Asteroids are rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system (about 4.6 billion years ago!). They can be found orbiting the sun in an area between Mars and Jupiter called the "Asteroid Belt". This asteroid belt, or "main belt" contains probably millions of asteroids. Asteroids get their name from the Greek word that means "star-like", a misnomer now considering today's scientific classifications made from our new space data. Asteroids are actually more appropriately referred to by astronomers and other scientists as "minor planets" or "planetoids" (which means "planet-like"). Some facts about asteroids: Asteroids are celestial bodies/objects that are in the solar system. An asteroid orbits the planets and sun and moon as a "mid-sized celestial object" - from 10 meters to 1000 km in diameter. They are a mixture of stone, heavy and light elements, and possibly gasses (in solid, liquid, frozen, or plasma states/organic/inorganic). One will often have meteoroid clouds nearby or trailing them (may be considered as comets). It may be moving either in orbit around another celestial object or floating or traveling on its own accord. They are also called minor planets, planetoids, centaurs Classifications of smaller asteroids are: C-type, carbonaceous S-type, siliceous M-type, metallic There are many good reference sources on the Internet about asteroids. Try some of the web sites listed in the related links section for this question below.
Asked in Astronomy, Comets
Which astronomer discovered comets return at intervals?
Asked in Comets
What astronomers hope to learn from studying comets?
Asked in Health, Exercise, Anorexia Nervosa, Comets
Why do some people become warm after eating?
It could be from a combination of factors, which is why this tendancy seems to be different for different people. The main reason might be that one of the first things to get digested are simple sugars and since sugar is the body's preferred source of energy, it burns it up as it enters the blood stream through the stomach lining and that's what makes a person warm. Another reason is that the digestive process uses lots of energy, and that creates a lot of heat. For the same reason our bodies get warm when we exercise, we also get warm when we digest. Other reasons would have to include the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. This system is designed to make us more relaxed to allow our bodies to divert more blood to our digestive system, and that in turn would also help warm us up.
Asked in Asteroids, Comets, The Difference Between
What is the difference between asteroids and comets?
The main difference between asteroids and comets is what they are made of. Asteroids are made of metals and rocky material, while comets are made up of ice, dust and some rocky material. Both asteroids and comets were formed early in the history of the solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago. Asteroids formed much closer to the Sun, where it was too warm for ices to remain solid. Comets formed farther from the Sun where ices would not melt. Comets which approach the Sun lose material with each orbit because some of their ice melts and vaporizes to form a tail. An asteroid is a small, inactive body, made up of rock, carbon or metal, that orbits the Sun. A comet is also a small, but sometimes active object, made of dirt and ice. Comets are able to be seen by their characteristic tails as they become affected by the heat of the Sun. The tail of a comet is pushed away from the Sun. It does not necessarily trail behind it. Comets follow highly elliptical orbits, approaching the inner solar system and then retreating to a considerable distance from the Sun. If they stayed close in to the Sun, all the ice would vaporize, and they would cease to be comets. Most asteroids tend to have more nearly circular orbits, although some develop more elongated orbits as a result of gravitational interactions with the planets or other asteroids. Asteroids have diameters anywhere from a few meters to a few hundred kilometers. Only about 200 asteroids have diameters exceeding 100 kilometers. Most rotate on their axes every 5 to 20 hours. Most asteroids in the solar system are located in the 'asteroid belt', where they orbit the sun in the space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Some smaller asteroids may orbit larger asteroids as satellites. Asteroids are different from planets and moons mainly because of their much smaller size, and irregular shapes.
Asked in Comets
How did Halley's Comet get its name?
Halley's comet got its name from Sir Edmund Halley who, using Newton's laws of motion, predicted that the comet seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682 would return in 1758. Unfortunately, Halley died before seeing the comet return, but when it returned just as he had predicted, the comet was named in his honour by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1759. Halley's Comet was named for Edmond Halley, the English astronomer who identified it as a periodic comet.
Asked in Astronomy, Planetary Science, Comets
When will Hale-Bopp Comet return within Earth's view?
Asked in Astronomy, Comets, Reindeer
What is a comet?
Comets are also known as "dirty snowballs," small bodies of ice that are leftovers from the formation of the Solar System about 4.6 billion years ago. The comets we see in our solar system begin as chunks of rock and ice. Short-period comets come from the Kuiper belt, and long-periods are believed to have originated in the Oort cloud which is farther out. When the gravity from a large passing body becomes strong enough, some large chunks of ice get pulled away from their orbits and redirected toward the Sun. When it gets close enough to the Sun, the heat melts some of the ice and evaporates it. Its characteristic gaseous tail is made when the melted ice extends away from the source of heat, being pushed out by the Sun's solar wind. The comet is kept in motion on its trajectory due to gravity from all the planets and asteroids it passes. In the case of our own solar system, most of the gravity affecting it is from the Sun. Furthermore, the strength of the Sun's gravitational force increases as the comet moves closer, causing the comet to accelerate and further extend its tail, as it also experiences greater evaporation from the higher solar radiation.