Download Asteroids, Comets and Meteors by Miller R. PDF

By Miller R.

While one technological know-how fiction writer referred to as the asteroids "ten thousand fleas at the useless puppy of night," he was once basically reflecting the omit astronomers as soon as had for those mysterious objects-most of that have been thought of little greater than nuisances. this present day, astronomers have an entire new admire for asteroids, comets, and meteors. The collision of an asteroid with Earth can have spelled the tip of the dinosaurs-and a destiny collision may well finish existence as we all know it on our planet. Likewise, the icy mounds referred to as comets are usually not simply infrequent, sleek apparitions within the evening sky, they're one of the finest gadgets within the sun method, possibly keeping clues to the foundation of the sunlight procedure itself. This ebook explores those little-known yet interesting denizens of outer house.

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Extra resources for Asteroids, Comets and Meteors

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If you do observe a comet, try to make a sketch of what it looks like. If you can observe it over a period of time, record its changing position on a star chart. HOW TO DISCOVER A COMET Many scientists now think that Chiron is a Kuiper belt object that—possibly under the influence of one of the giant planets or because of a collision—wandered into the outer solar system, orbiting the Sun closer than any of its companions. In fact, the discovery of Chiron was one of the factors that led astronomers to start thinking about the existence of similar bodies in the region beyond Pluto.

Part of the problem is that when they are not being warmed by the Sun and are not surrounded by brightly glowing gas, comets look just like asteroids. For example, one recently discovered “asteroid” was later found to be an already well-known comet in its inactive phase. In 1977 astronomer Charles Kowal discovered an asteroid he named Chiron. Although it had a cometlike orbit between Saturn and Uranus, it resembled an ordinary asteroid in every other way—except that it orbited farther from the Sun than any other known asteroid.

Although it had a cometlike orbit between Saturn and Uranus, it resembled an ordinary asteroid in every other way—except that it orbited farther from the Sun than any other known asteroid. It had the same dark, blackish color of most asteroids and at 155 miles (250 km) in diameter, it was much larger than any known comet—fifteen times larger than the nucleus of Halley’s Comet. But when its orbit brought it closer to that of Saturn, and closer to the Sun, it suddenly began to grow brighter. Soon, other observers began to report seeing Chiron surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of glowing gas.

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