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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 ?
The comet, called Comet 168P-Hergenrother, is expected to be visible with the naked eye and will appear as a large bright star with a tail of light trailing behind it,reports Mirror Online.
At the time of writing (2018 September) there are 3 531 known comets.
The most common prefixes for comet designations are C and P.
By studying the comet, mission scientists hope to learn what role comets played in Earth's early stages.
Previous missions had already hinted that comets were more complex than that.
Washington, April 24 ( ANI ): Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have captured images of a recently discovered, highly active comet that will skim 730,000 miles above the Sun's surface on Nov.
Comets are interstellar wanderers, spending most of their lives in the frozen outer reaches of the solar system, well beyond Neptune, merrily orbiting the Sun, minding their own business.
A comet blazing toward Earth could outshine the full moon when it passes by at the end of next year - if it survives its close encounter with the sun.
Since the launch of the SOHO satellite in 1995, it has been possible to observe comets very close to the sun at any time of year.
Comets condensed out of the contracting solar nebula at the formation of the solar system, in the distant Edgeworth-Kuiper belt and Oort Cloud.
The breakup shows that the cores of comets "are as fragile as the meringue in lemon-meringue pie," says Casey Lisse of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.
On that day, NASA scientists will smash a device into a comet, or a celestial body made of ice, rock, and dust that circles the sun.
The Age of the Two-Faced Janus: The Comets of 1577 and 1618 and the Decline of the Aristotelian World View in the Netherlands (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History, 89) Leiden: Brill, 1998.
This spring, comet Hale-Bopp will be streaking in from outer space.