What is difference between asteroids and comets?
- Asteroids are small rocky planetoids, while comets are formed of frozen gases held together by rocky and metallic material.
- Asteroids are found mostly between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, while comets are found mostly between Venus and mercury.
- Comets show a perceptible glowing tail, while asteroids do not.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2011 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Definition: Small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun.
- Size: Much smaller than planets despite orbiting like planets.
- Location: Most found in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
- Total Mass: The combined mass of all asteroids is less than that of Earth’s Moon.
- Appearance: They do not have a glowing tail.
- Definition: Frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system composed of dust, rock, and ices.
- Appearance: When closer to the sun, they heat up and spew dust and gases, creating a giant glowing head/tail larger than most planets.
- Quantity: Likely billions of comets orbiting our Sun.
- Origin: They primarily originate from two regions: the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.