What is the difference between comets and meteors?


Although most, or at least the most common celestial bodies are usually recognized by the population, the concepts may not be very clear to everyone. Could you tell a comet, a meteor, and an asteroid? These are the main differences between these celestial bodies that cause so much curiosity and, at the same time, so many fears to the human race.

Differences between comets, meteors and asteroids

Asteroids and meteors are phenomena that can actually hit planet Earth. These celestial bodies can collide and collide with our planet, something that has already occurred. In 1908, an asteroid 50 meters in diameter struck Earth and caused great destruction in the Tugunska region of Siberia. This celestial body destroyed a forest of 2 thousand square kilometers. However, the phenomenon happened in a depopulated region, not having victimized any person.

One issue worth mentioning is that this type of event occurs, or may occur, every decade. However, in general, the celestial bodies fall in uninhabited areas or even in the oceans.

What are the differences between these phenomena?

Asteroid – The asteroid is a body made up of rocks, minerals, and metals that orbit the Solar System, usually as a focus on Mars and Jupiter, an area known as the Asteroid Belt.
In general asteroids are 1 kilometer in diameter, however there are also asteroids up to 900 kilometers in diameter. An asteroid would have been the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs, and, according to NASA, there are about 4,700 dangerous asteroids near the planet Earth.

Comet – The comet is a body made up of ice, rock and dust. It usually forms in the Kuiper Belt and in the Oort Cloud, two areas that lie outside the Solar System. A very popular comet is the Halley, identified in the year 1696, by Edmond Halley. This can be observed in the orbit of the Sun every 76 years. His next appearance is scheduled for 29 July 2061.

Meteor – The meteor is classified as a flash of light, resulting from the passage of a meteoroid that burns and disintegrates in the Earth’s atmosphere. That is, what we call, popularly, shooting star.

Thus, simplifying:

– Asteroid: Its composition is rocky and of gigantic dimensions.

– Comet: Its composition is a sphere of frozen gases and dust.

– Meteor: Its composition is rocky; however, its size is small.