What is the 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 statement(s) 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||Frozen leftovers from the formation of the solar system composed of dust, rock, and ices|
|Size||Much smaller than planets||Vary in size; can be larger than some planets|
|Location||Mainly found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter||Primarily originate from two regions: the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud|
|Total Mass||Less than that of Earth’s Moon||Not specified|
|Appearance||Do not show a perceptible glowing tail||Have a giant glowing head/tail when closer to the sun|
|Quantity||Not specified||Likely billions orbiting our Sun|
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.