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  • noun

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(astronomy) a relatively small extraterrestrial body consisting of a frozen mass that travels around the sun in a highly elliptical orbit

References in periodicals archive ?
Long-period & high-inclination short-period comets Source region: Oort Cloud, [10.
The existence of the main-belt comets indicates that asteroids and comets--rocks and ice chunks, respectively--could be more closely related than previously proposed.
So, hot material from the nearby star may have been kicked into the territory of the comets.
More important, they removed that mental block - the Comets - who ended the Sparks postseason the last two years.
In 1818, however, the German astronomer Johann Franz Encke (1791-1865) worked out the orbit of a comet that had been observed the year before by the French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons (1761-1831).
But in a 1974 collection of astronomy essays, the prolific author Isaac Asimov offered this rather pessimistic assessment: "The twentieth century has had rather poor luck with comets.
Kung of the Upper Omuramba, consider comets a favourable omen, saying that they are "the stars of the great Captains".
The results suggest that Wild 2 and perhaps other comets are amalgams of some of the hottest and coldest materials in the solar system, Brownlee said last week at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.
The particles could provide answers to questions not only about comets but also about the origins of our sun, Earth, and the other planets.
But it took them awhile to shake the Comets, even without Thompson.
Comets, huge balls of ice and dust, travel at speeds of up to 9,000 m (30,000 ft) per second--about 10 times faster than a speeding bullet
Despite the unknowns, past performances by sungrazing and sunskirting comets enable us to make a reasonable estimate of what's in store.
At this distance, the sun's heat and gravity easily break comets apart, and each member of the Kreutz family may be a fragment of what had once been a single large comet.
The four-time defending-champion Comets tried to prevent it from happening at all.