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By Ron Miller

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Extra info for Asteroids, Comets and Meteors (Worlds Beyond)

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A comet can also be broken up when it passes too close to the gravitational field of a large planet, such as Jupiter. There is also a class of daredevil comets called sungrazers. These are comets that orbit very close to the Sun, some so closely that the gravity of the Sun has broken them up and destroyed them. Others have even collided with the Sun itself! (48) Impact Scar A spectacular finale to a comet’s life was observed in 1994, when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter. It had already passed too close to the giant planet in 1992 and was torn into more than 20 smaller pieces by Jupiter’s powerful gravity.

Whatever their description, everyone agreed that comets foretold death, calamities, and disasters. ” Actually, fear (35) A bright comet is a rare but beautiful object in the night sky. In early times, comets were thought to be omens of doom, war, disease, and disaster. of comets wasn’t limited to ancient people—comets caused panics well into the twentieth century. Even as recently as 1998 some people were predicting worldwide catastrophes based on the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp. For a long time, no one knew what comets really were.

It would be best to consult a newspaper or astronomy magazine to find out what the exact predicted peak night would be where you live. When it does, it creates a roughly circular crater. Meteor craters on Earth were once thought to be extremely rare and perhaps even nonexistent. In fact, the best-known of them all, mile-wide Meteor Crater, in Arizona, was long thought to be a volcanic feature. It was only through the tireless efforts of one scientist, Daniel Barringer, that the true origin of (62) Meteor Crater was finally accepted.

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