The year 2020 has marked the arrival of a number of unexpected guests, both on the Earth and in the universe.
Scientists have been issuing constant warnings and alerts about the passing of various celestial bodies especially the asteroids and comets near our planet Earth, especially this year.
However, apart from the eagerness to spot meteors, asteroids, or comets in the night sky, do we really know the difference between them all?
Here's a handy guide to understand the difference between these celestial bodies:
These can be defined as rocky, yet airless pieces left out after the formation of the planets in our solar system. They are mostly found in the asteroid formed between Mars and Jupiter, orbiting the sun.
Comets can be called space snowballs, filled with ice and dust from the formation of our solar system, which happened around 4.6 billion years ago. They also orbit around the Sun, just like asteroids. When they move towards the sun, the dust and ice vaporize to form a comet’s tail.
When a meteoroid approaches closer to the surface of Earth and enters the atmosphere, it vaporizes to form a meteor, which is visible to us as a streak of light. We often call them the “shooting stars”. However, they are not real stars.
When one asteroid clashes with another, it can result in the formation of several small pieces, which are known as meteoroids. They can also be formed by the clash of two comets.
When meteoroids do not vaporize completely in the atmosphere and land on the Earth’s surface like a rock piece, it is known as meteorites.