The universe consists of various celestial bodies which are very numerous in number and occupy such vast space. One of the celestial bodies in the infinite universe is a comet. Comet is one part of the universe, which also often appears across the solar system as the place where the earth evolved.
So, what is a comet? What are the comet parts? And are there any types of comets known in the universe? Next there will be an explanation of the comet along with the types and parts of comets.
Get to know Comet
Comet is a kind of caudate star or steamed star, which is part of the solar system and orbits the sun with elliptical trajectories. Compared to other planets, comets are smaller in size with elongated or elliptical orbits.
Comet orbit generally has three forms, namely the shape of a hyperbole, parabolic, and elliptical orbit. Comets are also considered to be members of the solar system consisting of frozen celestial objects, ice, and gas.
The structure of a comet consists of a comet’s head and tail. These comet parts have their own unique characteristics.
a # Comet head
The comet’s head is the brighter part of the comet and consists of a core and coma. The head of a comet has a diameter of more than 65,000 km, which includes the core and commas.
- comet nucleus: is the center of the comet’s head, which is a lump of ice, and consists of H 2 O, CO 2 , NH 3 , and CH 4 .
- coma: is the part that surrounds the comet’s core, and consists of dust and gas.
b # Comet’s tail
When viewed from its shape, the comet’s tail can be divided into two forms, namely the dust tail (curved) and the gas tail (straight). The comet’s tail has a length that can reach up to thousands of kilometers. The direction of the comet’s tail is always away from or against the sun.
Why do comet tails always stay away from the sun? This is caused by the pressure from the solar wind ( solar wind ) and solar radiation ( solar radiation ).
Types of Comet Types
Comets also have several types. When viewed from the shape and length of the trajectory, comets can be grouped into two, namely long -tailed comets and short-tailed comets .
a # Long-tailed Comet
Long-tailed comet is a comet with a very far path, and through very cold regions in the sky. Therefore, the comet’s tail has the opportunity to absorb gases from the area in its path.
When approaching the sun, the comet will release gas so that it can form comas and very long tails. Examples of long-tailed comets are Kohoutek comets that pass near the sun once every 75,000 years, and there are also Halley Comet that pass every 76 years.
b # Short-tailed Comet
Short-tailed comet is a comet whose path is very short. Because of its short trajectory, this comet has less opportunity to absorb gases in the area it passes.
So, when the comet approaches the sun, the comet releases so little gas that it can only form a comma and a tail that is very short, or even barely tailed.
An example of a short-tailed comet is the Comet Encke which passes close to the sun once every 3.3 years.
Sightings of Comet from Earth
From the earth, comets can sometimes be seen clearly while crossing the sun. Events seem to have comet trajectory has occurred several times in the history of mankind. For example, in 1705, Edmund Halley estimated that the comet had been seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682 and returned again in 1758.
The appearance of the comet known by Edmund Halley made one of the many comets, given the name Halley’s comet. The average period of the orbital appearance of the Halley comet is between once every 76 to 79 years. Halley’s Comet was last seen in 1986.
The core or center of the Halley comet is estimated to have a size of approximately 16x8x8 km. The core of Halley’s comet is very dark. It is estimated, Halley’s comet will appear again from earth in 2061.
Besides Halley’s comet, there are also various other names of comets that are known. Some of these comet names include comet Hyakutake and comet Hale-Bopp.