The Universe: Comets | History

Most short-period or Jupiter-family comets have low inclination orbits (i.e., their orbits lie nearly in the same plane as Earth’s orbit) and are believed to originate in the Kuiper belt. The Kuiper Belt is a region of space. The inner edge begins at the orbit of Neptune, at about 30 AU from the Sun. (1 AU, or astronomical unit, is the distance from Earth to the Sun.) The outer edge continues outward to nearly 1,000 AU, with some bodies on orbits that go even further beyond

Scientists explain how comets form, and what potential threat they might represent to Earth. It is thought that most comets originate in a vast cloud of ice and dust that surrounds the solar system.

Comet NEOWISE from ISS | 4K

According to NASA, as of September 2021, the current number of known comets is 3,743. Though billions more are thought to be orbiting the sun beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt and the distant Oort cloud far beyond Pluto. The Oort Cloud, as it is called, extends several thousand times farther from the Sun than Pluto, the outermost planet.

Nights of Neowise – Chasing the Comet – 4K Timelapse

Asteroids and comets are considered remnants from the giant cloud of gas and dust that condensed to create the sun, planets, and moons some 4.5 billion years ago. Today, most asteroids orbit the sun in a tightly packed belt located between Mars and Jupiter.

Comet Leonard 2022 in Earth’s sky with Gas Tail in 4K UHD (video from telescope)

Brightening the sky this holiday season. The “Christmas Comet.” On January 12, 2022 Comet 2021 A1 (Leonard) could be seen in Earth’s night sky using telescopes and user cameras. On January 3rd the comet was 750 million km from the Sun. The nucleus is about 1 km (0.6 mi) across. It came within 4 million km (2.5 million mi) of Venus, the closest-known cometary approach to Venus. Comet tail could be seen on presented video. The new spectacle is the result of the solar wind, a stream of charged plasma particles that constantly flows off the sun and across the solar system.

New University of Washington research indicates it is highly unlikely that comets have caused any mass extinctions, or have been responsible for more than the minor Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, 66 million years ago. It was the last known 10 km (6 mi) or more in diameter object impact.

The energy released by an impactor depends on diameter, density, velocity, and angle of the asteroid.

WE&P by: EZorrillaM.