Difference Between Comet and Meteor


Comets are icy bodies that orbit in the solar system. They have wide orbits and can take anywhere from a few years to hundreds of thousands of years to complete. They are often driven by the gravitational pull of other celestial bodies, such as planets, the sun, and asteroids. The kites are formed by loose collections of ice, dust and small rock particles. Difference Between Comet and Meteor

As of January 2011, there are approximately 4,185 known comets; the most famous of which is probably Halley’s Comet which passes close to Earth every 75 – 76 years.

There are two main types of kites: short period comets and long period comets. The former are believed to originate in the Kuiper belt and areas associated with it, located beyond the orbit of Neptune. The latter are believed to come from the Oort cloud, which is a spherical cloud of icy bodies found outside the solar system. Like Halley’s Comet, short-period comets have short orbits, while long-period comets take longer to come.

METEOR  Difference Between Comet and Meteor

On the other hand, the flash of light that follows a piece of interplanetary debris that enters our atmosphere is called a meteor . It is not the rubble itself, but the light that remains behind it and that takes the form of a tail. We often refer to meteors as shooting stars.

The meteor, that is, the flash of light, is caused by the heating of the debris, which ignites due to the friction of the atmosphere. Chunks of matter that catch fire and give rise to meteors are known as meteorites when they hit the Earth’s surface.

The main difference between comets and meteors is that the former do not enter the Earth’s atmosphere, but keep orbiting; while the latter do enter the atmosphere.

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