What are Comets?

These are Cosmic Balls orbiting the sun, made up of frozen gases, rock and dust.

These are often known as dirty snowballs. Earlierpeople thought that comets are “long-haired” stars that would appear unpredictably in the sky.

 In frozen state, these are as big as a small town. On getting closer to the Sun (due to forces of gravity of other planets), it heats up, discharges dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets. These dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the Sun for millions of miles.

 It is likely that billions of comets are orbiting our Sun in the Kuiper Belt and even more distant Oort Cloud (comets here can take as long as 30 million years to complete one rotation around the sun).

One of the most famous short-period comets is called Halley’s Comet that reappears every 76 years. Halley’s will be sighted next in 2062.

NEOWISE (Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer)Comet

It was discovered on 27thMarch 2020.

It being especially bright, it’s central core or nucleusis visible with naked eye in the night sky. After July 2020 it will fade away quickly and will not be visible with naked eye.

It has about 13 million Olympic swimming pools of water. Most comets are about half water and half dust.

The comet is not expected to return back to the inner solar system for next 6800 years.