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Kathy Bourne

on 18 May 2013

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By Jillian B. Halley's Comet Facts History Interesting Facts What would happen if Halley's Comet struck the Earth? Importance to the Earth
and the Universe Why is Halley's Comet sometimes called the Dirty Snowball? Research that has
already been made Size: 15km long and 10km wide. Roughly the size of The Island of Manhattan.
Weight: 100,000,000,000,000kg
Appearance: Looks like a potato or peanut.
Made Of: Ice, rock and dust
Age: between 4 and 5 billion years old
Other Names: Dirty Snowball, Comet Halley and Halley's Comet Halley's comet was discovered by Edmund Halley, an English Astronomer. The comet was discovered in 1705 but has been orbiting since 240BC. Halley's Comet is also the most famous comet. Comet Halley can be seen every 75-76 years. It was last seen in 1986 and is predicted to be seen again on July 28 2061. Halley's Comet has been orbiting for billions of years.
The tail is called a coma. It occurs when the comet gets close to the sun and compounds such as frozen water and carbon dioxide sublimate (Rapidly change from solid to gas) from its surface.
American writer Mark Twain was born on November 30th 1835, two weeks after an appearance of Halley's Comet's. In his biography, he stated that he was born with Halley's Comet, and is likely to die with it. Mark Twain died on April 21st 1910 - the day after Halley's Comet reappeared. Halley's Comet has no importance to the Earth. It doesn't orbit close enough to Earth to do any damage. Halley's Comet only helps teach astronomers the nature of comets.
Comet Halley also does not have much importance to the universe. Its orbit does not effect any of the other planets, stars or other comets. Halley's Comet is just a little piece of the universe that does not disrupt anything else. Right now, with the way Halley's Comet orbits, it will not hit the Earth. However, it is impossible to tell if Halley's Comet will change its path. Halley's Comet orbits between Venus and Mercury when humans can see it, so it is unlikely to hit Earth. Earth did pass through the comet's tail in 1910 but had no ill affects.
There are two meteor showers which occur on the dates when Earth crosses the path of Halley's Comet: the Eta Aquarids on May 6 and the Orionids on October 21, so it could be said that bits of Halley's Comet hit Earth every year on those dates. Halley's Comet is sometimes called the Dirty Snowball because of the way it looks. It gets 'Dirty" from being made out of dust and rock which makes it look dirty and gets 'snowball' from being shaped like a snowball. Halley's Comet is darker than coal, and reflects only 4% of the sunlight it receives. It only shines brightly when it is close enough to the Sun for its dust and vapours to be burnt off. There has been lots of research made on Halley's Comet because it is the most famous comet. some of this information includes:
Halley's orbital pattern.
How close Comet Halley gets to the sun.
How fast Halley's Comet moves.
What perihelion is and aphelion is. How Fast Does Halley's Comet Move? Halley's Comet moves very fast. It would take Halley's Comet 73 seconds to get from Los Angelas to New York and moves at speed of 54 kilometers a second. It may take the comet 76 years to make one orbit but that's because the universe is a big thing and it is farther than it seems. Although, when Comet Halley moves outward, it slows down to about 1km a second and when it comes back through the inner solar system it regains its speed. What is Perihelion and Aphelion? Perihelion is when Halley's Comet is as close to the sun as it will go. Aphelion is when the Comet is as far away from the sun as it can go. It will reach its Perihelion in 2061 when it will be between Mercury and Venus' orbit and will reach its Aphelion when it is between Uranus and Neptune's orbit in 2023. The range between Comet Halley's perihelion and aphelion is about 38 years. What is Halley's Comet's Orbital Pattern? Halley's Comet orbits around all the planets. It goes between Mercury and Venus' orbit to Uranus and Neptune's orbit. Researchers have said that Halley's Comet will not crash into any of the planets while humans are alive. They have said that it might collide with Jupiter in a few billion years. They think this because when Halley's Comet orbits around Jupiter, Jupiter will be orbiting around that same spot and there will be a collision. How Close Does Halley's Comet Get To The Sun? Halley's Comet orbits closer to the sun than Venus but Slightly away from Mercury's orbit. Halley's Comet gets about 54.5 million miles away from the sun. Because it gets so close, that is why part of the comet melts and creates the coma. Halley's Comet is also seen because of the sun. If it didn't get near enough to the sun, then the tail wouldn't be created and the comet itself wouldn't be seen because it is to dark.
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