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

Simulations unravel mysteries of 2009 Jupiter impact

( -- During July of 1994, both amateur and professional astronomers were captivated as comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 broke apart and slammed into the atmosphere of Jupiter. While these types of impacts are generally ...

A surprisingly simple explanation for 'Oumuamua's weird orbit

In 2017, a mysterious comet dubbed 'Oumuamua fired the imaginations of scientists and the public alike. It was the first known visitor from outside our solar system, it had no bright coma or dust tail, like most comets, and ...

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 ...

First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found

New observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, ...

Comet Catalina suggests comets delivered carbon to rocky planets

In early 2016, an icy visitor from the edge of our solar system hurtled past Earth. It briefly became visible to stargazers as Comet Catalina before it slingshotted past the Sun to disappear forevermore out of the solar system.

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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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