What are comets, where do they come from, and why do they appear the way they do?


Check out some poking around I've been doing on comet and asteroid dynamics from various databases.



If you are the author 
of this picture, please contact me so i can assign credit! Comets are bad for our health! ... Well, at least over the long term--look at what just *one* fragmet of Shoemaker-Levy 9 (the comet which impacted Jupiter in July of 1994) would have done had it hit Michigan instead of Jupiter! This artist's simulation shows the Jovian shockwave from the G-fragment about an hour after impact superposed on the earth.

The real effects would not have been quite so dramatic since the impact velocity would likely have been only about half that of what occurred on Jupiter, and Jupiter is much more effective at capturing comets, but nevertheless there were 20 large fragments!


Good Comet Links: