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Asteroid V's Comet
I know asteroids have hit the planet but is there any evidence that a comet has ever crashed into us? How likely is it that a comet could crash into the Earth?
It is very unlike that a comet will hit earth because comets are usually small and in a very eccentric orbit (flatten orbits) around the sun. They have a higher change of falling into the sun than hitting the earth. Furthermore, as a comet orbits the sun and approaches it some of the comet burns off and gets smaller. Therefore comets do not last long enough to become a serious threat to earth and eventually falls into the sun after a few revolutions around it.
Asteroids are chunks of rock that orbit the Sun in a belt. They are not very big though, if they were all put together, they would form a body no more than 1500km in diameter! The biggest asteroid in the Asteroid Belt is Ceres, and it is only around 900km across, another asteroid, called Braille, is only 2km in diameter!
Asteroids don't get very bright either. The brightest ones only get to around magnitude 6 or 7. You need a telescope or a pair of binoculars to be able to see any.
Comets are a bit different from asteroids. They orbit in big, elliptical orbits. Some go out to the edge of the Solar System and then back into the inner Solar System, but others can go way out of the Solar System, past the orbit of Pluto! As they come back into the inner Solar System, and get closer to the Sun, they get brighter and brighter. Some of them get bright enough to be visible with the naked eye. As they get closer to the Sun, they also start to form a tail.
For more of such interesting facts you can log on o http://www.edurite.com
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