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

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

Comets threaten to arrange in the Solar system chaos

If the Sun will increase its luminosity by a few percent, the ice will begin to evaporate and jets of gas will give the comets the reactive acceleration.

“Graveyard of comets”, are found in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, can make a real chaos in the Solar system when the Sun will Shine a little brighter. Astronomers can’t predict which direction will fly the heavenly bodies, when their trajectories change .

“We found a graveyard of comets. Imagine all these asteroids within the belt orbit the Sun for millions of years and show no signs of activity. We found that the majority of them are “dormant” comets that may yet come back to life if their solar “energopac” will be increased by couple of percent,” says Ignazio Ferrini of the University of Medellin (Colombia).

Previously it was thought that most comets in the Solar system is in the so-called Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. However, it was discovered that several hundred dormant in the asteroid belt, moving in relatively stable orbits between Mars and Jupiter. Since they don’t show their tails and not move on watanasiritham, the scientists called their gathering the “graveyard of comets”. Continue reading

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