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  Introduction:  
 

 

A comet is a small, unique, fragile, irregular shaped icy celestial body unlike the other small bodies in the solar system. When comets come close to sun, it shows a visible coma and sometime a tail; this is due to the effect of solar radiation upon the comet’s nucleus.

Most of comets can see from earth travel around sun. In 1995, 878 comets have been sorted and calculated. 184 out of these are periodic comets (Orbital periods less than 200 years).

Sometimes comets are known as “Dirty snowballs” or “Icy mudballs” as they are a mixture of ices (Both water and frozen gases) and dust of some planets. Comets also composed of variety of organic compounds such as methanol, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, ethanol and ethane. Some comets are also posses long chain hydrocarbon and amino acids.


 

 
  Do you know / Interesting facts:
   > A Comet's tail always points away from the sun.

 > Comet orbits are elliptical. It brings them close to the sun and takes them far away.

 > Short period comets orbit the Sun every 20 years or less. Long period comets orbit the Sun every 200 years or longer

 > Scientists have seen comets range in size from less than 1 km diameter to as much as 300 km, although the 300km (called Chiron) does not travel into the inner solar system.

 >  Halley's Comet circles the sun every 76 years.

 > In 1705 Edmund Halley predicted that the comets of 1531, 1607 and 1682 were the same comet and that it would return in 1758.

 > Long period comets are believed to originate from the theoretical Oort Cloud and short period comets are believed to come from the Kuiper belt

 > Comet Encke orbits the Sun in about 3.5 years, Comet Halley in 76 years, Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 in about 6.4 years and Comet Borrelly in just under 7 years.