Related topics: nasa · spacecraft · solar system · earth · asteroid

Shedding light on comet Chury's unexpected chemical complexity

A team of researchers led by the University of Bern has for the first time identified an unexpected richness of complex organic molecules at a comet. This was achieved thanks to the analysis of data collected during ESA's ...

Near-sun comet roasted to death

Astronomers using a fleet of world leading telescopes on the ground and in space have captured images of a periodic rocky near-sun comet breaking apart. This is the first time such a comet has been caught in the act of disintegrating ...

Comet Interceptor approved for construction

ESA's Comet Interceptor mission to visit a pristine comet or other interstellar object just starting its journey into the inner solar system has been "adopted" this week; the study phase is complete and, following selection ...

'Spot the difference' to help reveal Rosetta image secrets

Today, ESA and the Zooniverse launch Rosetta Zoo, a citizen science project that invites volunteers to engage in a cosmic game of "spot the difference." By browsing through pictures collected by ESA's Rosetta mission, you ...

Scientists discover comet's hourglass-shaped dust trail

Researchers from Finland, Canada, and Russia have discovered an unusual, hourglass-shaped dust trail of the comet 17P/Holmes. The particles that formed the dust trail were released by the most powerful of the thus-far documented ...

Discovery of 30 exocomets in a young planetary system

For the past 30 years, the star β Pictoris has fascinated astronomers because it enables them to observe a planetary system in the process of formation. It is made up of at least two young planets, and also contains comets, ...

Future of Earth's defense is ground-based planetary radar

Powerful radar systems have played a major role in the study of planets, moons, asteroids, and other objects in our Solar System for several decades, and now have a "unique role" to play in planetary defense—"providing ...

4 billion-year-old relic from early solar system heading our way

An enormous comet—approximately 80 miles across, more than twice the width of Rhode Island—is heading our way at 22,000 miles per hour from the edge of the solar system. Fortunately, it will never get closer than 1 billion ...

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Comet

A comet is a Small Solar System Body that orbits the Sun. When close enough to the Sun, a comet exhibits a visible coma (fuzzy "atmosphere"), and sometimes a tail, both because of the effects of solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus. Comet nuclei are themselves loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky particles, ranging from a few kilometers to tens of kilometers across.

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