Fast Facts for Kids
Comet Facts for Kids

Comet Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Comet
  • IAU Classification: Small Solar System Body
  • Diameter Range: 6 Miles (Average)
  • Composition: Dust, Rock, and Water Ice (Various Other Elements)
  • Known Population: 4,500+ in our Solar System
  • First Discovered: In 1680 by Gottfried Kirch via Telescope
  • Largest: Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein (C.2014 UN)

18 Comet Facts For Kids

  1. A comet is a celestial object that orbits one or more stars in a gravitationally bound system.
  2. Comets are officially designated as an SSSB or a small Solar System body by the IAU (International Astronomical Union).
  3. Comets are popular for their visible tails in the night sky, caused by a process known as outgassing.
  4. The composition of a comet includes water ice, dust, and rock, but can also contain frozen ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
  5. Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first person to develop scientific theories about comets.
  6. English astronomer Edmond Halley was the first person to recognize some comets are periodic and predicted the return of Comet Halley.
  7. All comets are believed to have originated from the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, two regions on the edge of our Solar System.
  8. There are two types of comets, short-period comets, and long-period comets.
  9. A short-period comet, also known as a periodic comet, takes less than 200 years to complete an orbit around the Sun.
  10. A long-period comet can take anywhere between 200 to millions of years to complete an orbit around the Sun.
  11. The comet with shortest known orbital period is Comet Encke (2P/Encke) which is estimated to be around 1,200 days.
  12. The comet with longest known orbital period is Comet West (C/1975 V1) which is estimated to be up to 558,000 years.
  13. There have been more than 4,500 comets identified in our Solar System.
  14. Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley) is the most famous comet, which appears every 75 to 79 years, and there are recorded observations by humans going back to 240 BCE.
  15. The last time Halley’s Comet was visible to humans was in 1986 and will reappear again in 2061.
  16. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 made history when it collided with Jupiter in 1994 and became the first-time humans could directly observe an impact event.
  17. The Vega 1 space probe was the first spacecraft to ever take a picture of a comet on March 4th, 1986.
  18. The Rosetta space probe was the first spacecraft to orbit a comet in August 2014 and its lander Philae become the first lander module to land on a comet in November 2014.

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Comet Pictures

Pictures are one of the best ways for people to learning about something. That is why we are providing you with the below images to help you with your research on comets. Below you will find three pictures that represent comets. These pictures should help you better understand comets and what they look like.

Comet Neowise C/2020 F3

A picture of Comet Neowise c/2020 f3.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q1

A picture of Comet Lovejoy c/2014 q1.

Comet Leonard C/2021 A1

A picture of Comet Leonard c/2021 a1.

Comet Resources

Hopefully the above comet facts, data, stats, and pictures were helpful with your research. If you need to continue researching comets you can use one of the below websites. We selected the below websites for their credibility and accurate data on comets.