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Asteroids, comets, meteors

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Asteroids, comets, meteors

  1. 1. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors Oh my! Are you ready? Are you ready to learn all about the craziness that are these celestial objects?! Great! Let’s go!
  2. 2. Asteroids  A rocky object revolving around the sun  It is smaller than a planet (this is what makes it different from terrestrial/rocky planets).  They are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in the Asteroid Belt!
  3. 3. Comets  A small clump of ice and dust with an extremely elliptical (oval) orbit around the Sun.  As it nears the sun on it’s orbit, the ice sublimates (goes straight from a solid to a gas) and forms the coma and tail.  The comet becomes visible because the gas gets into an excited state and lights up (kind of like neon lights)
  4. 4. Hubble details an incredible Comet:  This is a picture of comet 73P breaking up as it is passing by the Sun.  The comet was 1.17 AU from the sun and .22 AU from Earth.  Photo credit: NSA, ESA, STSci
  5. 5. Meteors(oids/ites)  Are solid, interplanetary particles passing through Earth’s atmosphere.  These solid objects (usually also rocky) are usually headed towards earth. Depending on their specific location (outside the atmosphere, inside the atmosphere or on the ground) it has a different name.
  6. 6. Meteors? Meteorites? Meteoroids? What’s the difference?!?!  The Quick Trick:  - “oids” are outside the atmosphere, - “ites” are inside it, and – “ors” are in between.  Meteoroids outside atmosphere ( meteoroids are in the void of space)  Meteorites on Earth’s surface ( meteorites are in the earth tight)  Meteors are in-between Meteoroids Meteors Meteorites
  7. 7. The Life of a Meteor… Please draw something similar to the image on the right in your notes sheet. At each stage, write a short description of what is happening that is making it “change” and label each stage (meteor, meteoroid, meteorite). Atmosphere Earth’s Surface
  8. 8. Comets vs. Meteors (what’s the difference?)  If both look like bright streaks of light in the sky, how can you tell the difference?  Comets seemingly hang motionless in the sky whereas meteors quickly streak across the sky (shooting star) and are only seen for a fraction of a second  Comets are millions of miles away, meteors are in our atmosphere.  Comets are orbiting the sun, Meteors are headed towards the Earth’s surface.

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