Comets and Meteors

  • Eugene F. Milone
  • William J. F. Wilson
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


In this and the next chapter, we move away from the planets and look at the small bodies of the solar system. We begin with an indepth look at comets: their orbits and orbital families, the structure and composition of the nucleus (the solid object), the gases and dust surrounding the comet, the ion and dust tails, the cometary magnetosphere, and the origins of comets. The second part of the chapter is concerned with a detailed look at meteors (the flash of light across the sky) and their cause in terms of the heating and ablation of meteoroids plummeting into the Earth’s atmosphere. The chapter concludes with a discussion of interplanetary dust and the effects on it of solar radiation.


Solar System Interplanetary Magnetic Field Comet Nucleus Kuiper Belt Oort Cloud 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene F. Milone
    • 1
  • William J. F. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. Physics & AstronomyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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