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Life Cycle of a Comet
Transcript of Life Cycle of a Comet
A comet is a Solar System body that is made of rock, dust, water and ice. It also has gases such as carbon dioxide ,carbon monoxide, methane, and ammonia. There are 5,186 known comets but scientists think there may be over one trillion.
A comet is born when molecules of water, carbon dioxide, and methane freeze into the rock particles before they collide to create the comet. Short period comets come from the Kuiper Belt while long period comets come from the Oort cloud.
When Comets are in the Oort Cloud or the Kuiper Belt
Oort cloud and Kuiper Belt
Introduction to comets
The Kuiper Belt is a disc shaped
region of icy planets and comets billions of kilometeres away from the sun. The Oort cloud is named after Jane Oort and is not really a cloud but a bunch of comets. It extends 13,950,000,000,000 miles from the Sun. It is where comets live before they are either bumped by other comets or pulled by Jupiter and Neptune into the Solar System. sometimes they will not be bumped at all.
Short period comets
Long period comets
Short period comets have orbits of less than 200 years. They generally have a similar orbit as the other planets. The aphelion, (the point of their orbit when they are farthest from the sun) of their orbit usually takes them to Jupiter and beyond.
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Long period comets have a orbit of 200 years or more. If something that has a large enough gravity passes a section of the Oort cloud where a comet lives, it will usually be pulled into the solar system and start orbiting the sun at a elliptical angle. They are usually the spectacular comets we see in the sky.
When comets are in the Oort cloud or Kuiper belt, they usually live peacefully. They will not have tails because they get tails from passing the Sun, which vaporizes the comets material, which in turn releases ice particles trapped in the ice.
One way of a comet dying is not really dying, but changing.
After passing the Sun about 500 times they lose most of their ice and gas and eventually turn into something close to an asteroid. Another way is to crash into the Sun or a planet. However, comets will usually live
thousands of years.
Halley's Comet – 87 BC
Caesar's Comet – 44 BC
Halley's Comet – 12 BC
Halley's Comet – 1066
Great Comet of 1106
Great Comet of 1264
Great Comet of 1402
Great Comet of 1556
Great Comet of 1577
Great Comet of 1618
Great Comet of 1680
Great Comet of 1744
Great Comet of 1811
Great Comet of 1843
Donati's Comet – 1858
Great Comet of 1861
Coggia's Comet – 1874
Great Comet of 1882
Great Comet of 1901
Great Daylight Comet of 1910
Halley's Comet – 1910
Comet Skjellerup–Maristany – 1927
Comet Arend–Roland – 1957
Comet Seki-Lines – 1962
Comet Ikeya–Seki – 1965
Comet West – 1976
Comet Hyakutake – 1996
Comet Hale–Bopp – 1997
Comet McNaught – 2007
Comet Lovejoy – 2011
Halley's comet will pass the earth again in 2062.