The Comet's Tale (key)
Task 2

Comet Writing Activity

Tell what you know about comets.  Write as much as you can about what you think:

a.  comets are
b.  where they come from, and
c.  what they are made of.

Note:  Below are only a few of the points that could form correct answers.  For more information, please consult the Comet’s Tale Teacher’s Background resource page.

a. –  Comets are:

  • like a dirty snowball
  • a small (few km) chunk of frozen gasses (ices) mixed with dust grains and rocks
  • traveling very fast (comets near perihelion can reach speeds of thousands of kilometers per minute)
  • much smaller than the size of the moon

b. –  Comets come from:

  • the Kuiper Belt (short period comets)
  • the Oort Cloud (long period comets)
  • the same beginning events and materials as planets when the early solar nebula spun -- forming small objects called planetesimals, about a kilometer in size

c. –   Comets are made of:

  • frozen gases (carbon dioxide)
  • organic substances (ammonia, formaldehyde, methane)
  • dust
  • metals
  • water