It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a comet! Comets are small lumps of ice that move on the outskirts of the solar system in the direction of the sun. When a comet gets hot, a beam of light shoots out from its front and forms two shining “tails” on its back. Comets are parts of matter left over from the creation of the Solar System.
The front of a comet contains its nucleus. Inside the comet is a gas cloud with a small nucleus made of dust and snow. The back of a comet is skinner than the front; its tail goes on for millions of miles with dust and gas coming out of its rear.
Millions of comets create a big swarm named the “Oort Cloud,” which is approximately a light year away from the Sun. When the Oort Cloud rotates almost out of the Solar System, the Sun makes it look brighter by shining its light at the dust and gas.
English astronomer Edmond Halley was the first person to figure out that a comet he once saw in 1682 returns to Earth every 76 years. That same comet was later dubbed “Halley’s Comet.” According to historical records, this comet was first seen in 240 B.C.
Halley's Comet was last seen in 1986. Since it is difficult to see this comet, people had to use binoculars to view it. Since then, scientists have sent space probes to measure Halley’s Comet. According to current data, it is due to return in 2061.
Comets are an important, fascinating part of our Solar System. They may just be clumps of ice and dust, but never doubt the significance of comets!
[Source: e. encyclopedia]