All About Comets

All About Comets

INTRODUCTION

The picture of a comet is a spectacular object, with a brilliant head and a
long tail, streaming across the heavens. Observations of the comet of 1577 by
Tycho Brahe demonstrated that comets were more distant than the moon. Some
comets are spectacular objects, but definitely the greatest numbers are not very
bright, and many do not develop tails. Comets are classed with asteroids,
satellites of the planets, and meteoroids. Comets provide a source of
information on how the solar system originated, and also provide opportunity to study
matter under abnormally physical conditions. The distinguishing feature of a
comet is its ability to release large amounts of dust and gas when its nucleus
is heated by solar radiation when close to the sun. The material released is
lost to the comet, and therefore the lifetimes of comets must be limited.
The majority of comets observed today is faint, and have no tail and little
coma. While in orbit, comets cover a wide range, moving about the sun in
orbits impossible to tell apart from those of minor planets, while others follow
paths similar to the earths orbit plane. Many comets have

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