Comet’s Tale Word Search Puzzle II  -  Clues  (key)


1.        ( Kuiper Belt ) the band or belt of small objects formed from the solar system’s planetary disk outside the orbit of Neptune, and likely source of short-period comets

2.        ( Oort Cloud ) the large cloud of dust and rocky planetesimals which form a comet reservoir around the solar system

3.        ( aphelion ) the point in the path of an object orbiting the sun (such as a comet or the earth) where it is farthest from the sun

4.        ( asteroid  ) small, rocky body which orbits the sun; these contain very little icy material so do not develop tails

5.        ( asteroid belt ) collection of small, rocky bodies found orbiting the sun, mostly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

6.        ( astronomer ) scientist who uses telescopes to study the planets, sun, stars, galaxies, or universe

7.        ( astronomical unit ) average distance from the earth to the sun: about 150 million kilometers, called “AU”

8.        ( carbon dioxide ) C02 is a common gas at room temperature; in comets it is frozen -- like dry ice

9.        ( coma ) a hot gas of ions, from the comet’s evaporating ices which glows around the nucleus as the comet approaches the sun

10.     ( comet ) small (few km), sun-orbiting body made of ices and rocky material that descended from the early solar system

11.     ( dust tail ) visible tail of a comet formed by sunlight reflecting from grains of dust released from the comet nucleus and blown off by the solar wind

12.     ( ellipse ) sometimes called an oval, this geometric shape has two focus points, or foci

13.     ( giant planets ) the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, which contain most of the planetary mass of our solar system

14.     ( graphite ) a form of carbon which is found in granular form in the interstellar medium and in the Oort Cloud

15.     ( interstellar medium ) the thin gas and low density dust which fills the space between the stars

16.     ( light year ) the distance traveled in one year at the speed of light

17.     ( long period comet ) comet that travels on a long elliptical path, such that one orbit can take thousands of years



18.     ( meteor ) very small bodies of rock or metal that enter the atmosphere and fall toward earth creating luminous tails as they burn

19.     ( meteor shower ) occurs when the earth encounters a cloud of dust grains and meteors left behind by an orbiting comet; these enter our atmosphere like a “shower”

20.     ( meteorite ) a meteor which enters the atmosphere and does not burn-up entirely as it falls to the ground as a rock

21.     ( nucleus ) a small chunk of ices mixed with dust grains and rock, which contain all the comet’s mass

22.     ( orbit ) the path of a body that revolves periodically around another body because of gravity

23.     ( organic matter ) molecules made up of the most common elements found in living systems: Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Hydrogen

24.     ( perihelion ) the point in the path of an object orbiting the sun (such as a comet or the earth) where it lies closest to the sun

25.     ( period ) time required for a body like a comet to go once round its orbit and return to the same spot

26.     ( planetesimals ) small (few km) chunks of dust, rocks and frozen gases which condensed as the solar nebula cooled

27.     ( plasma ) a hot gas of charged particles

28.     ( plasma tail ) this part of a comet tail glows with its own light and always points straight away from the sun

29.     ( short period comet ) a comet whose entire elliptical orbit lies within the solar system, such as Comet Halley

30.     ( solar nebula ) the cloud of gases and dust from which the sun, and eventually the solar system were created

31.     ( solar nebula ) the sun and everything that revolves around it, including the nine planets and their moons, asteroids and comets

32.     ( solar wind ) hot gases and magnetic fields that stream rapidly out of the sun in all directions at all times

33.     ( sublimate ) the process of changing from a solid directly to a gas, without first melting into a liquid phase





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