With all this talk about comets, we need to discuss what a comet is. Comets are very fast moving objects made up of a lot of ice and a little bit of rock. They move much faster than asteroids, making it much more dangerous for a comet to hit the Earth than an Asteroid.
Short term comets, such as Halley’s Comet which comes near the Earth every 76 years, originate from the Kuiper Belt. Long term comets, which take thousands of years to circle the Sun, come from the Oort Cloud.
Assignment # 3:
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Does a comet’s tail always follow behind it? Why or why not?
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A comet’s tail is caused by the Sun’s solar winds. As a comet enters the warmer inner Solar System, it begins to melt. The Sun’s solar wind blows the melting debris away from the comet.
The gas and dust left by a comet do not always follow behind the comet. Rather, they blow away from the Sun. If a comet is travelling towards the Sun, the tail will be behind it, but if a comet is travelling away from the Sun, it’s tail will be infront.