Unformatted text preview: WHAT ARE COMETS LIKE? A comets tail forms as sunlight melts the ice, releasing gas and dust particles • Tail points away from the sun • Tail points away because radiation and solar wind o Nucleus- tiny middle o Coma- part around that’s bright o Tail WHERE DO COMETS COME FROM? Kuiper belt- 30-100 AU, in disk of solar system in orderly orbits • 100,000 or so comets Oort Cloud- on random orbits extending about 50,000 AU • Trillions of comets ? If a comet moves from the north to the south as viewed from the Earth, where is it likely to be from?-The Oort Cloud ? What objects have the longest orbital periods?-The Oort Cloud HAVE WE EVER WITNESSES A MAJOR IMPACT? Jupiter – shoemaker levy- tidal forces tore comet apart...
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course ISP 205 taught by Professor Donahue during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.
- Fall '08