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★ Comet

Comet: see Asteroid & Meteorite & Space & Solar System & Universe & Tunguska

The Universe TV - How the Universe Works TV - Horizon TV - Morgan Freeman TV - Inside Story: Heaven's Gate TV - Bettany Hughes TV - Eugene Shoemaker - David Levy - Cosmic Collisions TV - Mark Chapman - Phil Plait TV - Landing on a Comet: Rosetta TV - ISON: Comet of the Century TV - Walking With Dinosaurs TV - Carl Sagan TV - Alexander Dolgov - Nostradamus - Michio Kaku - Solar Empire: Impact! TV - Birth of the Solar System TV - Strip the Cosmos: Hunting a Comet TV - H G Wells - Richard D Hall & Wilson & Blackett TV - David Helfand - Neil deGrasse Tyson TV - Comet Crash: Rosetta TV - Death on a Comet: The Rosetta Mission TV - Secrets of the Solar System TV -      

 

 

 

The Asteroid Belt [is] located between Mars and Jupiter.  These warm ice-bearing bodies may have the same water as Earth because they were all formed in the inner solar system which is closer to the Sun.  What’s more, startling new evidence suggests that these usual comets may not only have delivered water to Earth, they may also have seeded our planet with the building blocks of life itself.  The Universe s1e6: Spaceship Earth, History 2007

 

 

Objects are periodically bumped out of the Kuiper Belt and drift in the direction of the inner solar system.  These icy rocks become comets as they form long tails of ice and dust when moving towards our sun.  The Universe s2e12: Cosmic Collisions

 

 

Asteroids and comets: once thought to be very different cosmic bodies: maybe more closely related than people thought ... Some comets actually mimic asteroids.  After a comet has orbited around the Sun many times it losses its icy gaseous components becoming essentially dormant and showing a drab surface.  The Universe s3e6: Deadly Comets & Meteors

 

 

For as long as Earth has existed, comets and asteroids have been crashing into it.  Soon after its formation about four and a half billion years ago our planet became a frequent target in a cosmic shooting gallery.  According to the Earth Impact Database more than one hundred and sixty impact craters have been identified.  The largest is one called Chicxulub, Mayan for Tail of the Devil.  This crater measures more than one hundred and seventy kilometres in diameter.  It was made by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs when it crashed in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  The Universe s3e8: Stopping Armageddon

 

Measuring about 270 meters in length, or more than 800 feet, Apothis has the energy of a 500 hundred megaton bombs – enough to wipe out a major city or cause a devastating tsunami.  ibid.

 

 

104,371.  A region between Jupiter and Mars where asteroids and comets take up residence.  In this crowded galactic neighbourhood these fossil relics form the formation of the solar system occasionally collide with each other and explode into smaller pieces.  It’s these fragments that can migrate towards Earth.  The Universe s4e3: It Fell From Space

 

 

The heart of these comic icebergs is the nucleus or central core ... as big as a modern city.  The Universe s7e6: Ride the Comet

 

Some tails can stretch for a hundred million miles.  ibid.

 

 

Comets are a celestial enigma.  Comets could reveal the fundamental secrets of our universe.  But they also threaten our very survival.  Yet without comets we might not be here.  How the Universe Works s2e6: Comets: Frozen Wanderers, Science 2012

 

Every comet is a frozen mass of rock and ice.  ibid.

 

Comets are far more hostile and strange than we imagine.   ibid.

 

Haley was fifteen kilometres long.  ibid.

 

 

Comets and icy asteroids can contain huge reserves of water.  How the Universe Works s2e8: Birth of the Earth, Science 2012

 

 

Haley’s Comet ... In the course of its travels its appearance radically changes.  In 1948 near the outer edges of our solar system Comet Haley reached the furthest point of its elliptical orbit and began again its 38-year fall towards the sun.  Horizon: Haley’s Comet, BBC 1986

 

 

Life clearly had begun during this maelstrom ... Comets and asteroids also shed tiny organic particles into space - they’re called Inter-planetary Dust Particles.  Horizon: Life is Impossible, BBC 1993

 

 

The idea that rocks can hurtle through space and smash into Earth is particularly popular in science fiction at the moment.  But this is not fiction: in June 1994 fragments of a giant comet crashed into a planet.  Fortunately for us the planet was not Earth but Jupiter.  Horizon: New Asteroid Danger, BBC 1999

 

 

A visitor from the furthest reaches of the solar system.  It’s 4.6 billion years old.  Comet of the Century: A Horizon Special BBC 2013

 

Comet ISON: it’s no ordinary comet.  ibid.  

 

Where did all our water come from?  ibid.

 

Bizarrely, the destructive force of comets hitting a planet could actually be the key to creating life.  ibid.

 

 

When a comet makes a glancing blow it doesn’t incinerate, it melts, dumping large amounts of water and amino acids on our planet.  Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole s1e5: How Did We Get Here? Science 2010

 

 

Early this year the Hale-Bopp comet made its appearance in the sky.  Do took this as the long awaited sign from T that the time had finally come to evacuate planet Earth.  Inside Story: Heaven’s Gate

 

 

Now it seems more likely that a comet travelling near the Earth’s atmosphere in 1159 smothered the planet in a massive dust veil.  Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain 1500 B.C. - 43 A.D. Channel 4 2003

 

 

We are talking about an object roughly fifteen kilometres in diameter ... I think it’s probable it was a comet.  Eugene Shoemaker, US Geological Survey

 

 

We have very good geologic evidence for the bombardment of the Earth by asteroids and comets in the past.  There are more than one hundred and fifty craters like this one that we’ve found on the Earth.  Professor Eugene Shoemaker, Lowell Observatory

 

 

There is no question that there are going to be big impacts in the future.  It’s just a question of when it’s going to happen.  Eugene Shoemaker

 

 

Impacts of very large objects mostly comets have probably produced most of the great mass extinctions over the past half a billion years.  Eugene Shoemaker

 

 

The chances that we’re going to eventually be hit by a large comet or asteroid is 100%.  Professor David Levy  

 

 

Shoemaker’s predictions were accurate.  Between July 16th and 22nd 1994 spectators watched in awe as one after another the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 dramatically collided with Jupiter.  Plumes rose thousands of kilometres above Jupiter’s cloud-tops.  Cosmic Collisions: Solar System, Discovery 2009

 

Comets and asteroids are essentially a shopping bag of ingredients for producing life.  ibid.

 

 

Asteroids tend to be rockier, metallic; and comets tend to have a mixture of rocks and ices.  Mark R Chapman

 

 

Asteroids and comets are leftover debris from the formation of the solar system four and a half billion years ago.  Phil Plait’s Bad Universe: Death From the Skies, Discovery 2010

 

  

This is where the journey began: a mission to put a comet-chasing machine worth two billion dollars into space to travel further than any mission before it in pursuit of a comet on the edge of the solar system.  Landing on a Comet: Rosetta, BBC 2015

 

 

November 2013: A city-sized chunk of ice and rock is hurtling toward the sun.  This is comet ISON.  Astronomers around the world are tracking it as it blazes brighter.  It presents the opportunity of a lifetime.  Comet of the Century aka Comet Encounter, National Geographic 2013

 

The Oort cloud is thought to obtain up to two trillion ice comets.  ibid.

 

 

Showers of shooting stars herald the approach of a giant comet on a collision course with Earth.  Walking With Dinosaurs: Death of a Dynasty, BBC 1999

 

 

In remote central Siberia there was a time when the Tunguskan people told strange tales of a giant fireball that split the sky and shook the Earth.  They told of a blast of searing wind that knocked down people and whole forests.  It happened, they said, on a summer’s morning in the year 1908.  Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Heaven and Hell, PBS 1980

 

In 1908 a piece of a comet hit the Earth.  ibid.

 

Comet parties now fad in New York.  Amazing stuff.  In 1910 people were holding comet parties, not so much to celebrate the end of the world as to make merry before it happens.  There were entrepreneurs who were hawking comet pills ... And there were those who were selling gas masks ...  And comet nuttiness didn’t stop in 1910.  ibid.

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