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Asteroids and Comets

Asteroids and comets ar chunks of space rock left over from the formation of our solar system. Although they pose a serious threat to the Earth and humanity, there is much to learn about the history of our solar system and the formation of Earth.

Wills Gilkinson

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Asteroids and Comets

Asteroids and Comets Like the solar systems throughout the universe, our solar system began as a huge cloud of primordial galactic dust which, after time and intense gravitational forces, began the nuclear fusion process, forming the sun. As the sun's nuclear fusion stablizes the once swirling mass of gas and dust, its gravity cuased the remnants of the dust to form a spinning disk where the planets are now. As this dust is spun around the sun, it produces dense spots where enough gravity is present to pull surrounding dust in. As this process continues, these chunks of rock eventually come together to form planets. In our solar system, there are 8 true planets and countless smaller celestial bodies such as moons, asteriods, and comets. Because the forces which formed what we know to be our solar system are still all present, the process is still going-- creating and destroying. Asteroids and comets are not just destroyers. BEcause they're unactive chunks of rock, anything left behind from when they were formed (when the solar system formed) will be there. These rocks are like time capsuls millions of years old and contain information which offer clues to the Earth's and humanity's orgins. Asteroids, like those found in the asteroid belt, exist mainly in the inner solar system, posing a more constant threat which we can now monitor. Comets, however, exist in the outter solar system. When a comet makes its way toward the inner solar system, it begins to melt and break apart. Comet
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