Difference between comet and asteroid
Comets and asteroids are the near earth object having orbit of rotation. Difference between comet and asteroid lies in their origin, composition and behaviour. Lets’ discuss these outer space bodies which always creates too much excitement in us.
Comets are small, frozen mass of dust and gas revolving in an orbit around the Sun. As comets comes near the sun some of the ice present in comets vaporizes and form a visible coma around its solid body and sometimes a long tail of ions that points away from the Sun.
Asteroids are rocks found orbiting the sun, generally found between the planets of Mars and Jupiter and also in the Kuiper belt. They have very little or no ices around them that can be released by the heat of the sun and glow. So they are detected only by the sun light that they reflect from their relatively dark surfaces.
Asteroids are made up of metals and rocky material .They are formed about 4.5 billion years ago .They are formed close to the sun so do not have ice.
Comets are made up of ice, dust and rocky material. They are also formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Comets formed farther from the Sun where ices would not melt.
Since asteroids have much closer orbits (they are mostly concentrated on the asteroids belt where they orbit the sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter), they are easily known and recognized to exist in millions. Comets, on the other hand, are very far making very hard to know and study them. As of 2008, there are only 3,572 known comets. It is believed that comets originated from a hypothesized belt of orbiting material called the ‘Oort Cloud’.
There are some more term which are always confuses with asteroids and comets. Below definitions will help to understand asteroids and comets well.
A small particle from an asteroids or comets orbiting he Sun.
A meteoroid that is observed as it burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere – a shooting star.
A meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and impacts the Earth’s surface.
Difference between comet and asteroid (comet vs asteroid):-
1. Comets have larger orbit whereas asteroids have smaller orbit.
2. Comets are made up of ice, dust and rocky material whereas asteroids are made up metals and rocky material.
3. Comets are icy cold as they are far from sun whereas asteroids are warmer due to near sun.
4. Comets form a coma and tail when near the sun while asteroids do not.
5. Comets are far so there is less number of comets discovered whereas asteroids are well known.
6. Comets are hypothesized to be concentrated in an orbiting belt very far away from the sun whereas asteroids are mostly found in the asteroids belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.