The name ‘comet’ derives from the Greek ‘aster kometes’, which means ‘long-haired star’ and this is a fair, if rough, description of the appearance of a comet. Comets used to be regarded as the portents of doom and tragedy and many a bright comet has caused widespread panic. For instance, a bright comet caused alarm in the England of 1665, in the early weeks of the Great Plague. Another appeared in 1666 just before the Great Fire that was to purge the plague-swept London!
KeywordsSolar Wind Solar System Royal Greenwich Observatory Major Planet Zodiacal Light
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