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Transcript
What else is in the solar system and how does if effect Earth?
COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND
METEORS; OH MY!!
Comets

Comets: composed of rock and dust particles mixed with ice, methane,
and ammonia
Orbit the Sun in an elliptical motion; magnetic field of the sun or
other planets may cause them to break free from the Oort Cloud
Oort Cloud- larger collection of comets lie in a cloud outside the
orbit of Pluto and surrounds the solar system like the asteroid belt
Structure of Comets:
 Nucleus: solid part of the comet- rock and ice
 Coma: ice, methane, and ammonia gases begin to vaporize as the
comet approaches the Sun (Jupiter); the gas and dust forms a cloud
around the nucleus
 Tail: Dust- solar winds push the dust particles away from Sun

Ion- solar winds push the methane gases away from Sun, form a
curved tail with a blue colored tail
Will they or won’t they hit?
 Meteoroids: pieces of the nucleus –rock-
spread out and remain in the original orbit
around the Sun, these may cross paths with
Earth’s orbit
If they enter Earth’s atmosphere- due to how
fast they are travelling, this causes friction
which causes the meteoroid to completely
vaporize.
Here it comes
Meteor: meteoroids which burn up in the atmosphere,
also known as shooting stars, when the Earth passes
through the old orbit of a comet there are lots of
meteors- we call this a meteor shower
Meteorite: Meteor which does not burn up because it
is large enough, when it lands on Earth
 Most are from comets, asteroid collisions but some
have been identified as coming from Mars or the
moon
FROM THE BELT
Asteroids: Most are formed from the same materials and rock which
formed the planets and can be found in the asteroid belt.
Why didn’t’ they form into a planet? Jupiter’s gravity prevented it
from happening, the belt is between Mars and Jupiter.
Where are the others? What else might asteroids be?
Sometimes they break away and drift out into space, others are
from pieces of comets
Why do we study the asteroids and other objects? Since they are
formed from the same materials as the planets and were formed
in the past we study them to see what may have happened at the
time the solar system began and Earth formed. They may give us
clues to our distant past.