Comets

C/2006 P1 McNaught became a memorable sight for
observers living in southern latitudes in 2013.

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Comets

  • bright objects with long tails- sometimes can be seen glowing in the night sky.
  • comet is just a ball of ice a few miles in diameter.
  • many comets orbit the Sun.
  • their orbits are very long and spend most of the time in the far reaches of the Solar System.
  • comets can be seen when their orbit brings them close to the Sun for a few weeks.
  •  comet’s tail is made of it nears the Sun and begins to melt – plume of gas million miles long is blown out by the solar wind – the tail what you see, shining as sunlight catches it.
  • some comets reach speed of 1¼ million mile per hour as they near the Sun.
  • far away from the Sun; comets slow down to about 600 to 700 miles per hour – that is why they stay away for so long time.

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Most Famous Comet

  • the most famous of all is Halley’s Comet. (wikipedia)
  • Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 gave one of the brightest views of comet since 1811 – visible even from brightly lit cites. (photo)
  • Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter in July 1994, with the biggest crash ever witnessed. (more information)
  • Comet McNaught C/2006 P1 – the brightest comet in over 40 years, and was easily visible to the naked eye for observers in the Southern Hemisphere in January and February 2007.  (wikipedia)

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Back to  Solar System page.

 

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