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Asteroids, Comets, Meteorites

22-JUL-2014 17:22


    Asteroids are rocky remains left over from the formation of solar system. Most asteroids orbit the sun in a girdle between Mars & Jupiter. Scientists believe there are possibly millions of asteroids, arraying extensively in size from hundreds of kilometers across to less than 1 kilometer broad.

    Sporadically, asteroids' orbital paths are inclined by the gravitational haul of planets, which cause their paths to change. Scientists consider wandering asteroids or fragments from past collisions have knocked into Earth in the past, playing a key role in the development of our planet.


    Comets are comparatively small, flimsy, erratically shaped bodies. They are left over from solar system formation procedure. Comets are icy dirtballs that form in outer solar system. The icy surface is entrenched with grit, dust & particles from space.

    Several comets have elliptical orbits that cut athwart the orbits of planets, taking them very close to the sun & then swinging them far away. The most far-off comets may take more than 30 million years to complete 1 orbit.

    Comets are very cold when far from the sun. As they come near the sun, their surfaces begin to tepid and fickle materials vaporize. Scientists think that blow from comets played a part in the evolution of Earth years ago.

    Meteors and Meteorites

    While traveling through space, asteroids sometimes smash with each other & break up into minor remains. Comets shack dust as they wander the solar system. These 'break ups' result in frequent small particles & fragments, known as meteoroids, which orbit the sun.

    Most meteoroids are rocky and small. When one draws near Earth, it burns up as it goes through the atmosphere of Earth. Thus a meteor is formed.

    Fireballs are bigger meteoroids, approximately ranging in dimension anywhere from a basketball to a Volkswagen. They also make very imposing sky exhibits as they smash into fragments & burn up in their way through Earth's atmosphere. Some meteoroids endure passage through the atmosphere of Earth & hit the ground. These are known as meteorites.

    Read more:Asteroids , Comets , Meteorites

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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