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Small Bodies
in our Solar System
A small body of ice,
rock and cosmic dust
 “Dirty Snowball”
 These are samples
(left over) from the
beginning solar
system formation
Comet Tails
Dust Tail: when comet gets
close enough to Sun
 Ion Tail: electrically
charged particles
 Nucleus: center of
Comet Orbits
Ellipse shape orbit
 Tail always points away
from Sun because of
Solar winds
Comet Origin
Comets come from the Oort Cloud and
Kuiper Belt
Small, rocky bodies
that revolve around
the Sun
 Vary in size and
 Asteroid Belt:
Between Mars and
Meteoroids and Meteorites
Meteoroid: Similar to asteroids but
 If it enters our atmosphere and strikes the
ground it is called a Meteorite, it looks like
a streak or shooting star in the sky
Meteor Showers
Meteor Showers: certain times of year when
Earth passes through dusty debris and
large amount of meteors are in sight
Types of Meteorites
The surface of our Moon has more impact
craters because the Moon has no
atmosphere to these objects slow down or
“burn them”
 Atmosphere acts as a shield on Earth
 Earth craters not as visible because of
weathering, erosion and tectonic activity
 Large objects strike Earth every few
thousand years
Earth Craters
This is the Barringer Meteor Crater in
Arizona. The diameter is 1.2 kilometers,
and it is 49,000 years old
Lunar Craters
Torino Scale
A system that allows scientists to rate the
hazard level of an object moving toward