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What are Comets? by The University of Arizona

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Learn about comets, what they’re made of, and how they move from the university that has discovered 52% of all known near-Earth objects, including comets.

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What are Comets? by The University of Arizona

  1. 1. what’s a comet?
  2. 2. what’s a comet? A comet is frozen water and gases mixed with dust.
  3. 3. what’s a comet? A comet is frozen
 water and gases
 mixed with dust. Basically, an icy, muddy snowball flying through space.
  4. 4. what’s a comet? A comet loses shape and mass as it orbits the sun and heats up.
  5. 5. what’s a comet? life stages of a comet A comet loses shape and mass as it orbits the sun and heats up.
  6. 6. what’s a comet? life stages of a comet moving slowly 
 and frozen to moving quickly 
 and sending off debris
  7. 7. Like anything else that orbits in space, the closer comets are to the Sun the faster they move. comets in orbit
  8. 8. comets in orbit You can’t see comets until they’re passing close to the Sun.
  9. 9. comets in orbit As a comet moves towards the Sun, you begin to see 
 its anatomy.
  10. 10. comet anatomy Ice in the core turns to gas and forms a cloud, called a “coma.”
  11. 11. Radiation from the sun pushes dust away from the coma. comet anatomy
  12. 12. This looks like a 
 “dust tail.” comet anatomy
  13. 13. Charged particles 
 from the sun convert 
 some of the comet’s gases into ions, forming an “ion tail.” comet anatomy
  14. 14. why study comets? Comets played a major role in the evolution of the Earth, starting billions of years ago.
  15. 15. By studying comets, comprised of material 
 from extremely cold regions 
 of our own solar system,
  16. 16. scientists believe they offer clues 
 to the forming of the 
 solar system. comprised of material 
 from extremely cold regions 
 of our own solar system, By studying comets,
  17. 17. Comets
 may have also brought 
 to Earth the water 
 & organic molecules that allowed 
 life to form. 

  18. 18. The University of Arizona 
 where more than 52% 
 of all near-Earth objects including comets were discovered Learn more about these discoveries at UA Research Brought to you by

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