Ever since man started looking towards the sky, comets have instilled fear and awe in the heart of mankind. There is a popular belief that comets bring curse and misfortune on mankind. There are people who take advantage of such wrong beliefs and myths and try to sell objects to people to protect them from the wrath and curse of comets.
Scientists and astronomers on the other hand continuously reveal facts and information about comets so that people stop believing in the myths associated with comets.
Here are some facts about comets. After reading these you would probably stop fearing about them.
- Comets are made up of ice, dust and rocky debris.
- Comets have three parts: the nucleus, the coma and the tails. The nucleus is the solid center component that is made up of ice, gas and rocky debris. The coma is the gas and dust atmosphere that surrounds the nucleus. The tails from the comets are formed when energy from the Sun turns the coma, allowing it to flow around the nucleus and extending millions of miles throughout the space.
- Comets are present in orbit around the Sun just like other planets. Comet orbits are elliptical which brings them close to the sun and then takes them far away.
- Comets that have shorter periods orbit the Sun every 20 years or less and the Long period comets orbit the Sun every 200 years or more. Those comets with orbits in between are called Halley-type comets.
- It is believed that the comets come from two areas - the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt. These are the areas where materials left over from the formation of our solar system have condensed into icy objects.
- The most well known comet is the Halley's Comet. It is also known as the Comet Halley. It is a short term comet and takes less than 200 years to orbit the Sun.
- Studies reveal that Halley's comet was observed thousands of years ago by the Chinese, European and the Babylonian star gazers.