COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEORS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEORS

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COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEORS COMETS Comets are loose collections of ice, dust, or rock particles whose orbits are usually very long, narrow ellipses. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEORS


1
COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEORS
2
COMETS
  • Comets are loose collections of ice, dust, or
    rock particles whose orbits are usually very
    long, narrow ellipses. You can think of a comet
    as a dirty snowball.

3
The comets head
  • When a comet gets close enough to the sun, the
    energy in the sunlight turns the ice into gas,
    releasing gas and dust. Clouds of gas and dust
    form a fuzzy outer layer called a coma. A
    comets coma has a solid inner core called a
    nucleus. The nucleus and coma (the comets head)
    is the brightest part of a comet.

4
The comets tail
  • As a comet approaches the sun and heats up, some
    of the gas and dust stream outward, forming a
    tail. The name comet means long haired star
    in Greek. Most comets have two tails, a gas tail
    and a dust tail. Both tails usually point away
    from the sun due to the force of solar wind from
    the sun. A comets tail can be more than 100
    million kilometers long.

5
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6
The origins of comets
  • Most comets are found in one of two distant
    regions of the solar system- the Kuiper belt and
    the Oort cloud.

7
  • The Kuiper belt is a doughnut shaped region that
    extends from beyond Neptunes orbit to about 100
    times Earths distance from the sun.

8
  • The Oort cloud is a spherical region of comets
    that surrounds the solar system out to more than
    1000 times the distance between Pluto and the
    sun.

9
Asteroids
  • Asteroids are rocky objects in space that are too
    small and numerous to be considered real planets.
    Most asteroids revolve around the sun between
    the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This region of
    the solar system is called the asteroid belt.

10
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11
Meteoroids
  • A meteoroid is a chunk of rock or dust in space.
    Meteoroids come from comets or asteroids. Some
    form when asteroids collide in space others form
    when a comet breaks up and creates a cloud of
    dust that continues to move across the solar
    system.

12
Meteors
  • When a meteoroid enters Earths atmosphere,
    friction with the air creates heat and produces a
    streak of light in the sky- a meteor.

13
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14
Meteorites
  • If the meteoroid is large enough, it may not burn
    up completely. Meteoroids that pass through the
    atmosphere and hit Earths surface are called
    meteorites.
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