Characteristics of comets

In addition, comets can carry the names of the people who discovered them, e.g., comet Halley, comet Machholz, comet shoemaker–levy 9 comet or Mac Note.

Movement and spatial distribution

All comets are members of the Solar system. They, like the planets, are subject to the laws of gravity, but move very peculiar. All the planets revolve around the Sun in one direction (which is referred to as “direct” as opposed to “reverse”) on nearly circular orbits that lie roughly in one plane (the Ecliptic), while comets move in both forward and reverse directions on highly elongated (eccentric) orbits, inclined at different angles to the Ecliptic. It is the nature of motion immediately gives the comet.

Long-period comets (orbital period greater than 200 years) come from regions located thousands of times further than the most remote planets, and their orbits are tilted at all angles. Short-period comets (period less than 200 years) come from the region of the outer planets, moving in the forward direction for orbits lying close to the Ecliptic. Continue reading

Coma of the comet

The comet’s coma or head of the comet . is a fuzzy mist surrounding the actual nucleus of the comet. Including the tail, the coma is all we actually see, watching the comet from the Earth.

The shape and structure of the comet’s coma

The shape of the coma can vary from comet to comet and for the same comet during its passage, depending on its distance from the Sun and the corresponding quantities of dust and gas. Pale or bright comets producing little dust and often have a round shape, and comets that produce a significant amount of cometary dust have fan-shaped or parabolic shape.

This is due to released different-sized dust grains: those that are bigger are moving to the left along the trajectory of a cometary orbit, and the smaller particles are repelled from the Sun using light pressure.

Coma has 2 main components: gas-shell and shell dust. In fact, scientists believe that comets produce almost the same amount of gas and dust. Continue reading

The region of formation of comet Tempel 1 and the model of solar system formation

“Our observation was aimed at studying the chemical composition of the comet Tempel 1,” says Michael Mumma (Michael Turner) from space flight Center NASA Goddard (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). The Mumma and his colleagues used a powerful telescope, the Keck Observatory in Hawaii for a detailed analysis of the light emitted by the gas of the comet at the moment of impact. Since each type of atoms and molecules has its own characteristic frequency of radiation, on the basis of this, scientists were able to determine the chemical composition of the comet’s nucleus.

Comets are blocks, which consist of ice and dust that move in elongated orbits. It is believed that the nucleus of the comet is gas and dust formations, remaining after the formation of the main bodies of the solar system.

When approaching the Sun, its radiation heats the comet’s nucleus, releasing dust and gas. The latter form a coma (cloud around the nucleus) and one or more tails. Repeated heating leads to the fact that disappear from the surface of the substance having a low boiling point. In fact, the nucleus of a comet is formed “crust” that is different chemically from its internal regions. This makes it difficult to determine the true composition of the comet just by studying the gas in its tail. Continue reading

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