1.
Apsis
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An apsis is an extreme point in an objects orbit. The word comes via Latin from Greek and is cognate with apse, for elliptic orbits about a larger body, there are two apsides, named with the prefixes peri- and ap-, or apo- added to a reference to the thing being orbited. For a body orbiting the Sun, the point of least distance is the perihelion, the terms become periastron and apastron when discussing orbits around other stars. For any satellite of Earth including the Moon the point of least distance is the perigee, for objects in Lunar orbit, the point of least distance is the pericynthion and the greatest distance the apocynthion. For any orbits around a center of mass, there are the terms pericenter and apocenter, periapsis and apoapsis are equivalent alternatives. A straight line connecting the pericenter and apocenter is the line of apsides and this is the major axis of the ellipse, its greatest diameter. For a two-body system the center of mass of the lies on this line at one of the two foci of the ellipse. When one body is larger than the other it may be taken to be at this focus. Historically, in systems, apsides were measured from the center of the Earth. In orbital mechanics, the apsis technically refers to the distance measured between the centers of mass of the central and orbiting body. However, in the case of spacecraft, the family of terms are used to refer to the orbital altitude of the spacecraft from the surface of the central body. The arithmetic mean of the two limiting distances is the length of the axis a. The geometric mean of the two distances is the length of the semi-minor axis b, the geometric mean of the two limiting speeds is −2 ε = μ a which is the speed of a body in a circular orbit whose radius is a. The words pericenter and apocenter are often seen, although periapsis/apoapsis are preferred in technical usage, various related terms are used for other celestial objects. The -gee, -helion and -astron and -galacticon forms are used in the astronomical literature when referring to the Earth, Sun, stars. The suffix -jove is occasionally used for Jupiter, while -saturnium has very rarely used in the last 50 years for Saturn. The -gee form is used as a generic closest approach to planet term instead of specifically applying to the Earth. During the Apollo program, the terms pericynthion and apocynthion were used when referring to the Moon, regarding black holes, the term peri/apomelasma was used by physicist Geoffrey A. Landis in 1998 before peri/aponigricon appeared in the scientific literature in 2002

2.
Astronomical unit
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The astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum to a minimum. Originally conceived as the average of Earths aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149597870700 metres, the astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is also a component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length. A variety of symbols and abbreviations have been in use for the astronomical unit. In a 1976 resolution, the International Astronomical Union used the symbol A for the astronomical unit, in 2006, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures recommended ua as the symbol for the unit. In 2012, the IAU, noting that various symbols are presently in use for the astronomical unit, in the 2014 revision of the SI Brochure, the BIPM used the unit symbol au. In ISO 80000-3, the symbol of the unit is ua. Earths orbit around the Sun is an ellipse, the semi-major axis of this ellipse is defined to be half of the straight line segment that joins the aphelion and perihelion. The centre of the sun lies on this line segment. In addition, it mapped out exactly the largest straight-line distance that Earth traverses over the course of a year, knowing Earths shift and a stars shift enabled the stars distance to be calculated. But all measurements are subject to some degree of error or uncertainty, improvements in precision have always been a key to improving astronomical understanding. Improving measurements were continually checked and cross-checked by means of our understanding of the laws of celestial mechanics, the expected positions and distances of objects at an established time are calculated from these laws, and assembled into a collection of data called an ephemeris. NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides one of several ephemeris computation services, in 1976, in order to establish a yet more precise measure for the astronomical unit, the IAU formally adopted a new definition. Equivalently, by definition, one AU is the radius of an unperturbed circular Newtonian orbit about the sun of a particle having infinitesimal mass. As with all measurements, these rely on measuring the time taken for photons to be reflected from an object. However, for precision the calculations require adjustment for such as the motions of the probe. In addition, the measurement of the time itself must be translated to a scale that accounts for relativistic time dilation

3.
Semi-major and semi-minor axes
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In geometry, the major axis of an ellipse is its longest diameter, a line segment that runs through the center and both foci, with ends at the widest points of the perimeter. The semi-major axis is one half of the axis, and thus runs from the centre, through a focus. Essentially, it is the radius of an orbit at the two most distant points. For the special case of a circle, the axis is the radius. One can think of the axis as an ellipses long radius. The semi-major axis of a hyperbola is, depending on the convention, thus it is the distance from the center to either vertex of the hyperbola. A parabola can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of ellipses where one focus is fixed as the other is allowed to move arbitrarily far away in one direction. Thus a and b tend to infinity, a faster than b, the semi-minor axis is a line segment associated with most conic sections that is at right angles with the semi-major axis and has one end at the center of the conic section. It is one of the axes of symmetry for the curve, in an ellipse, the one, in a hyperbola. The semi-major axis is the value of the maximum and minimum distances r max and r min of the ellipse from a focus — that is. In astronomy these extreme points are called apsis, the semi-minor axis of an ellipse is the geometric mean of these distances, b = r max r min. The eccentricity of an ellipse is defined as e =1 − b 2 a 2 so r min = a, r max = a. Now consider the equation in polar coordinates, with one focus at the origin, the mean value of r = ℓ / and r = ℓ /, for θ = π and θ =0 is a = ℓ1 − e 2. In an ellipse, the axis is the geometric mean of the distance from the center to either focus. The semi-minor axis of an ellipse runs from the center of the ellipse to the edge of the ellipse, the semi-minor axis is half of the minor axis. The minor axis is the longest line segment perpendicular to the axis that connects two points on the ellipses edge. The semi-minor axis b is related to the axis a through the eccentricity e. A parabola can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of ellipses where one focus is fixed as the other is allowed to move arbitrarily far away in one direction

4.
Orbital eccentricity
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The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle. A value of 0 is an orbit, values between 0 and 1 form an elliptical orbit,1 is a parabolic escape orbit. The term derives its name from the parameters of conic sections and it is normally used for the isolated two-body problem, but extensions exist for objects following a rosette orbit through the galaxy. In a two-body problem with inverse-square-law force, every orbit is a Kepler orbit, the eccentricity of this Kepler orbit is a non-negative number that defines its shape. The limit case between an ellipse and a hyperbola, when e equals 1, is parabola, radial trajectories are classified as elliptic, parabolic, or hyperbolic based on the energy of the orbit, not the eccentricity. Radial orbits have zero angular momentum and hence eccentricity equal to one, keeping the energy constant and reducing the angular momentum, elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic orbits each tend to the corresponding type of radial trajectory while e tends to 1. For a repulsive force only the trajectory, including the radial version, is applicable. For elliptical orbits, a simple proof shows that arcsin yields the projection angle of a circle to an ellipse of eccentricity e. For example, to view the eccentricity of the planet Mercury, next, tilt any circular object by that angle and the apparent ellipse projected to your eye will be of that same eccentricity. From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ἔκκεντρος ekkentros out of the center, from ἐκ- ek-, eccentric first appeared in English in 1551, with the definition a circle in which the earth, sun. Five years later, in 1556, a form of the word was added. The eccentricity of an orbit can be calculated from the state vectors as the magnitude of the eccentricity vector, e = | e | where. For elliptical orbits it can also be calculated from the periapsis and apoapsis since rp = a and ra = a, where a is the semimajor axis. E = r a − r p r a + r p =1 −2 r a r p +1 where, rp is the radius at periapsis. For Earths annual orbit path, ra/rp ratio = longest_radius / shortest_radius ≈1.034 relative to center point of path, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit is currently about 0.0167, the Earths orbit is nearly circular. Venus and Neptune have even lower eccentricity, over hundreds of thousands of years, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit varies from nearly 0.0034 to almost 0.058 as a result of gravitational attractions among the planets. The table lists the values for all planets and dwarf planets, Mercury has the greatest orbital eccentricity of any planet in the Solar System. Such eccentricity is sufficient for Mercury to receive twice as much solar irradiation at perihelion compared to aphelion, before its demotion from planet status in 2006, Pluto was considered to be the planet with the most eccentric orbit

5.
Orbital inclination
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Orbital inclination measures the tilt of an objects orbit around a celestial body. It is expressed as the angle between a plane and the orbital plane or axis of direction of the orbiting object. For a satellite orbiting the Earth directly above the equator, the plane of the orbit is the same as the Earths equatorial plane. The general case is that the orbit is tilted, it spends half an orbit over the northern hemisphere. If the orbit swung between 20° north latitude and 20° south latitude, then its orbital inclination would be 20°, the inclination is one of the six orbital elements describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit. It is the angle between the plane and the plane of reference, normally stated in degrees. For a satellite orbiting a planet, the plane of reference is usually the plane containing the planets equator, for planets in the Solar System, the plane of reference is usually the ecliptic, the plane in which the Earth orbits the Sun. This reference plane is most practical for Earth-based observers, therefore, Earths inclination is, by definition, zero. Inclination could instead be measured with respect to another plane, such as the Suns equator or the invariable plane, the inclination of orbits of natural or artificial satellites is measured relative to the equatorial plane of the body they orbit, if they orbit sufficiently closely. The equatorial plane is the perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the central body. An inclination of 30° could also be described using an angle of 150°, the convention is that the normal orbit is prograde, an orbit in the same direction as the planet rotates. Inclinations greater than 90° describe retrograde orbits, thus, An inclination of 0° means the orbiting body has a prograde orbit in the planets equatorial plane. An inclination greater than 0° and less than 90° also describe prograde orbits, an inclination of 63. 4° is often called a critical inclination, when describing artificial satellites orbiting the Earth, because they have zero apogee drift. An inclination of exactly 90° is an orbit, in which the spacecraft passes over the north and south poles of the planet. An inclination greater than 90° and less than 180° is a retrograde orbit, an inclination of exactly 180° is a retrograde equatorial orbit. For gas giants, the orbits of moons tend to be aligned with the giant planets equator, the inclination of exoplanets or members of multiple stars is the angle of the plane of the orbit relative to the plane perpendicular to the line-of-sight from Earth to the object. An inclination of 0° is an orbit, meaning the plane of its orbit is parallel to the sky. An inclination of 90° is an orbit, meaning the plane of its orbit is perpendicular to the sky

6.
Comet
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A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to evolve gasses, a process called outgassing. This produces an atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are due to the effects of radiation and the solar wind acting upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred metres to tens of kilometres across and are composed of collections of ice, dust. The coma may be up to 15 times the Earths diameter, if sufficiently bright, a comet may be seen from the Earth without the aid of a telescope and may subtend an arc of 30° across the sky. Comets have been observed and recorded since ancient times by many cultures, Comets usually have highly eccentric elliptical orbits, and they have a wide range of orbital periods, ranging from several years to potentially several millions of years. Short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt or its associated scattered disc, long-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud, a spherical cloud of icy bodies extending from outside the Kuiper belt to halfway to the nearest star. Long-period comets are set in motion towards the Sun from the Oort cloud by gravitational perturbations caused by passing stars, hyperbolic comets may pass once through the inner Solar System before being flung to interstellar space. The appearance of a comet is called an apparition, Comets are distinguished from asteroids by the presence of an extended, gravitationally unbound atmosphere surrounding their central nucleus. This atmosphere has parts termed the coma and the tail, however, extinct comets that have passed close to the Sun many times have lost nearly all of their volatile ices and dust and may come to resemble small asteroids. Asteroids are thought to have a different origin from comets, having formed inside the orbit of Jupiter rather than in the outer Solar System, the discovery of main-belt comets and active centaur minor planets has blurred the distinction between asteroids and comets. As of November 2014 there are 5,253 known comets, however, this represents only a tiny fraction of the total potential comet population, as the reservoir of comet-like bodies in the outer Solar System is estimated to be one trillion. Roughly one comet per year is visible to the eye, though many of those are faint. Particularly bright examples are called Great Comets, the word comet derives from the Old English cometa from the Latin comēta or comētēs. That, in turn, is a latinisation of the Greek κομήτης, Κομήτης was derived from κομᾶν, which was itself derived from κόμη and was used to mean the tail of a comet. The astronomical symbol for comets is ☄, consisting of a disc with three hairlike extensions. The solid, core structure of a comet is known as the nucleus, cometary nuclei are composed of an amalgamation of rock, dust, water ice, and frozen gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and ammonia. As such, they are described as dirty snowballs after Fred Whipples model

7.
Arc (geometry)
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In Euclidean geometry, an arc is a closed segment of a differentiable curve. A common example in the plane, is a segment of a circle called a circular arc, in space, if the arc is part of a great circle, it is called a great arc. Every pair of points on a circle determines two arcs. The length, L, of an arc of a circle with radius r and this is because L c i r c u m f e r e n c e = θ2 π. Substituting in the circumference L2 π r = θ2 π, and, with α being the angle measured in degrees, since θ = α/180π. For example, if the measure of the angle is 60 degrees and this is so because the circumference of a circle and the degrees of a circle, of which there are always 360, are directly proportional. The area of the sector formed by an arc and the center of a circle is A =12 r 2 θ. The area A has the proportion to the circle area as the angle θ to a full circle. We can cancel π on both sides, A r 2 = θ2, by multiplying both sides by r2, we get the final result, A =12 r 2 θ. Using the conversion described above, we find that the area of the sector for an angle measured in degrees is A = α360 π r 2. The area of the bounded by the arc and the straight line between its two end points is 12 r 2. To get the area of the arc segment, we need to subtract the area of the triangle, determined by the circles center and the two end points of the arc, from the area A. Using the intersecting chords theorem it is possible to calculate the radius r of a circle given the height H and its perpendicular bisector is another chord, which is a diameter of the circle. The length of the first chord is W, and it is divided by the bisector into two halves, each with length W/2. The total length of the diameter is 2r, and it is divided into two parts by the first chord, the length of one part is the sagitta of the arc, H, and the other part is the remainder of the diameter, with length 2r − H. Applying the intersecting chords theorem to these two chords produces H =2, whence 2 r − H = W24 H, so r = W28 H + H2

8.
Parabolic trajectory
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In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a parabolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity equal to 1. When moving away from the source it is called an escape orbit and it is also sometimes referred to as a C3 =0 orbit. Parabolic trajectories are escape trajectories, separating positive-energy hyperbolic trajectories from negative-energy elliptic orbits. At any position the body has the escape velocity for that position. This is entirely equivalent to the energy being 0, C3 =0 Barkers equation relates the time of flight to the true anomaly of a parabolic trajectory. There are two cases, the move away from each other or towards each other. At any time the speed from t =0 is 1.5 times the current speed

9.
Barycenter
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The barycenter is the center of mass of two or more bodies that are orbiting each other, or the point around which they both orbit. It is an important concept in such as astronomy and astrophysics. The distance from a center of mass to the barycenter can be calculated as a simple two-body problem. In cases where one of the two objects is more massive than the other, the barycenter will typically be located within the more massive object. Rather than appearing to orbit a center of mass with the smaller body. This is the case for the Earth–Moon system, where the barycenter is located on average 4,671 km from the Earths center, when the two bodies are of similar masses, the barycenter will generally be located between them and both bodies will follow an orbit around it. This is the case for Pluto and Charon, as well as for many binary asteroids and it is also the case for Jupiter and the Sun, despite the thousandfold difference in mass, due to the relatively large distance between them. In astronomy, barycentric coordinates are non-rotating coordinates with the origin at the center of mass of two or more bodies, the International Celestial Reference System is a barycentric one, based on the barycenter of the Solar System. In geometry, the barycenter is synonymous with centroid, the geometric center of a two-dimensional shape. The barycenter is one of the foci of the orbit of each body. This is an important concept in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. If a is the distance between the centers of the two bodies, r1 is the axis of the primarys orbit around the barycenter. When the barycenter is located within the massive body, that body will appear to wobble rather than to follow a discernible orbit. The following table sets out some examples from the Solar System, figures are given rounded to three significant figures. If Jupiter had Mercurys orbit, the Sun–Jupiter barycenter would be approximately 55,000 km from the center of the Sun, but even if the Earth had Eris orbit, the Sun–Earth barycenter would still be within the Sun. To calculate the motion of the Sun, you would need to sum all the influences from all the planets, comets, asteroids. If all the planets were aligned on the side of the Sun. The calculations above are based on the distance between the bodies and yield the mean value r1

10.
Center of mass
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The distribution of mass is balanced around the center of mass and the average of the weighted position coordinates of the distributed mass defines its coordinates. Calculations in mechanics are simplified when formulated with respect to the center of mass. It is a point where entire mass of an object may be assumed to be concentrated to visualise its motion. In other words, the center of mass is the equivalent of a given object for application of Newtons laws of motion. In the case of a rigid body, the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body. The center of mass may be located outside the body, as is sometimes the case for hollow or open-shaped objects. In the case of a distribution of separate bodies, such as the planets of the Solar System, in orbital mechanics, the equations of motion of planets are formulated as point masses located at the centers of mass. The center of mass frame is a frame in which the center of mass of a system is at rest with respect to the origin of the coordinate system. The concept of center of mass in the form of the center of gravity was first introduced by the ancient Greek physicist, mathematician, and engineer Archimedes of Syracuse. He worked with simplified assumptions about gravity that amount to a uniform field, in work on floating bodies he demonstrated that the orientation of a floating object is the one that makes its center of mass as low as possible. He developed mathematical techniques for finding the centers of mass of objects of uniform density of various well-defined shapes, Newtons second law is reformulated with respect to the center of mass in Eulers first law. The center of mass is the point at the center of a distribution of mass in space that has the property that the weighted position vectors relative to this point sum to zero. In analogy to statistics, the center of mass is the location of a distribution of mass in space. Solving this equation for R yields the formula R =1 M ∑ i =1 n m i r i, solve this equation for the coordinates R to obtain R =1 M ∭ Q ρ r d V, where M is the total mass in the volume. If a continuous mass distribution has density, which means ρ is constant. The center of mass is not generally the point at which a plane separates the distribution of mass into two equal halves, in analogy with statistics, the median is not the same as the mean. The coordinates R of the center of mass of a system, P1 and P2, with masses m1. The percentages of mass at each point can be viewed as projective coordinates of the point R on this line, another way of interpreting the process here is the mechanical balancing of moments about an arbitrary point

11.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in La Cañada Flintridge, California and Pasadena, California, United States. The JPL is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology for NASA, the laboratorys primary function is the construction and operation of planetary robotic spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASAs Deep Space Network and they are also responsible for managing the JPL Small-Body Database, and provides physical data and lists of publications for all known small Solar System bodies. The JPLs Space Flight Operations Facility and Twenty-Five-Foot Space Simulator are designated National Historic Landmarks, JPL traces its beginnings to 1936 in the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology when the first set of rocket experiments were carried out in the Arroyo Seco. Malinas thesis advisor was engineer/aerodynamicist Theodore von Kármán, who arranged for U. S. Army financial support for this GALCIT Rocket Project in 1939. In 1941, Malina, Parsons, Forman, Martin Summerfield, in 1943, von Kármán, Malina, Parsons, and Forman established the Aerojet Corporation to manufacture JATO motors. The project took on the name Jet Propulsion Laboratory in November 1943, during JPLs Army years, the laboratory developed two deployed weapon systems, the MGM-5 Corporal and MGM-29 Sergeant intermediate range ballistic missiles. These missiles were the first US ballistic missiles developed at JPL and it also developed a number of other weapons system prototypes, such as the Loki anti-aircraft missile system, and the forerunner of the Aerobee sounding rocket. At various times, it carried out testing at the White Sands Proving Ground, Edwards Air Force Base. A lunar lander was developed in 1938-39 which influenced design of the Apollo Lunar Module in the 1960s. The team lost that proposal to Project Vanguard, and instead embarked on a project to demonstrate ablative re-entry technology using a Jupiter-C rocket. They carried out three successful flights in 1956 and 1957. Using a spare Juno I, the two organizations then launched the United States first satellite, Explorer 1, on February 1,1958, JPL was transferred to NASA in December 1958, becoming the agencys primary planetary spacecraft center. JPL engineers designed and operated Ranger and Surveyor missions to the Moon that prepared the way for Apollo, JPL also led the way in interplanetary exploration with the Mariner missions to Venus, Mars, and Mercury. In 1998, JPL opened the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA, as of 2013, it has found 95% of asteroids that are a kilometer or more in diameter that cross Earths orbit. JPL was early to employ women mathematicians, in the 1940s and 1950s, using mechanical calculators, women in an all-female computations group performed trajectory calculations. In 1961, JPL hired Dana Ulery as their first woman engineer to work alongside male engineers as part of the Ranger and Mariner mission tracking teams, when founded, JPLs site was a rocky flood-plain just outside the city limits of Pasadena. Almost all of the 177 acres of the U. S, the city of La Cañada Flintridge, California was incorporated in 1976, well after JPL attained international recognition with a Pasadena address

12.
Comet nucleus
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The nucleus is the solid, central part of a comet, popularly termed a dirty snowball or an icy dirtball. A cometary nucleus is composed of rock, dust, and frozen gases, when heated by the Sun, the gases sublimate and produce an atmosphere surrounding the nucleus known as the coma. The force exerted on the coma by the Suns radiation pressure and solar wind cause an enormous tail to form, a typical comet nucleus has an albedo of 0.04. This is blacker than coal, and may be caused by a covering of dust, comets, or their precursors, formed in the outer Solar System, possibly millions of years before planet formation. How and when formed is debated, with distinct implications for Solar System formation, dynamics. Three-dimensional computer simulations indicate the structural features observed on cometary nuclei can be explained by pairwise low velocity accretion of weak cometesimals. The currently favored creation mechanism is that of the nebular hypothesis, astronomers think that comets originate in both the Oort cloud and the scattered disk. Most cometary nuclei are thought to be no more than about 10 miles across, the largest comets that have come inside the orbit of Saturn are C/2002 VQ94, Hale–Bopp, 29P, 109P/Swift–Tuttle, and 28P/Neujmin. The potato-shaped nucleus of Halleys comet contains equal amounts of ice, during a flyby in September 2001, the Deep Space 1 spacecraft observed the nucleus of Comet Borrelly and found it to be about half the size of the nucleus of Halleys Comet. Borrellys nucleus was also potato-shaped and had a black surface. Like Halleys Comet, Comet Borrelly only released gas from small areas where holes in the crust exposed the ice to sunlight, the nucleus of comet Hale–Bopp was estimated to be 60 ±20 km in diameter. Hale-Bopp appeared bright to the eye because its unusually large nucleus gave off a great deal of dust. The nucleus of P/2007 R5 is probably only 100–200 meters in diameter, the largest centaurs are estimated to be 250 km to 300 km in diameter. Three of the largest would include 10199 Chariklo,2060 Chiron, known comets have been estimated to have an average density of 0.6 g/cm3. Below is a list of comets that have had estimated sizes, densities, about 80% of the Halleys Comet nucleus is water ice, and frozen carbon monoxide makes up another 15%. Much of the remainder is carbon dioxide, methane. Scientists think that comets are chemically similar to Halleys Comet. The nucleus of Halleys Comet is also a dark black

13.
Coma (cometary)
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The coma is the nebulous envelope around the nucleus of a comet, formed when the comet passes close to the Sun on its highly elliptical orbit, as the comet warms, parts of it sublimes. This gives a comet a fuzzy appearance when viewed in telescopes and distinguishes it from stars, the word coma comes from the Greek kome, which means hair and is the origin of the word comet itself. The coma is generally made of ice and comet dust, water dominates up to 90% of the volatiles that outflow from the nucleus when the comet is within 3-4 AU of the Sun. The parent molecule is destroyed primarily through photodissociation and to a smaller extent photoionization. The solar wind plays a role in the destruction of water compared to photochemistry. Larger dust particles are left along the orbital path while smaller particles are pushed away from the Sun into the comets tail by light pressure. Comas typically grow in size as comets approach the Sun, and they can be as large as the diameter of Jupiter, about a month after an outburst in October 2007, comet 17P/Holmes briefly had a tenuous dust atmosphere larger than the Sun. The Great Comet of 1811 also had a coma roughly the diameter of the Sun, even though the coma can become quite large, its size can actually decrease about the time it crosses the orbit of Mars around 1.5 AU from the Sun. At this distance the solar wind becomes strong enough to blow the gas and dust away from the coma, Comets were found to emit X-rays in late-March 1996. This surprised researchers, because X-ray emission is associated with very high-temperature bodies. This ripping off leads to the emission of X-rays and far ultraviolet photons, with basic Earth-surface based telescope and some technique, the size of the Coma can be calculated. Called the drift method, one locks the telescope in position and that time multiplied by the cosine of comets declination, times.25 should equal the comas diameter in arcminutes. If the distance to the comet is known, then the apparent size of the coma can be determined. In 2015, it was noted that the ALICE instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft to comet 67/P, detected hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen in the Coma, which they also called the Comets atmosphere. Alice is a spectrograph, and it found that electrons created by UV light were colliding and breaking up molecules of water. OAO-2 discovered large halos of hydrogen gas around comets, space probe Giotto detected hydrogen ions at distance of 7.8 million km away from Halley when it did close flyby of the comet in 1986. A hydrogen gas halo was detected to be 15 times the diameter of Sun and this triggered NASA to point the Pioneer Venus mission at the Comet, and it was determined that the Comet emitting 12 tons of water per second. The hydrogen gas emission has not been detected from Earths surface because those wavelengths are blocked by the atmosphere, the process by which water is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen was studied by the ALICE instrument aboard the Rosetta spacecraft

14.
Comet tail
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A comet tail—and coma—are features visible in comets when they are illuminated by the Sun and may become visible from Earth when a comet passes through the inner Solar System. As a comet approaches the inner Solar System, solar radiation causes the materials within the comet to vaporize and stream out of the nucleus. Separate tails are formed of dust and gases, becoming visible through different phenomena, the dust reflects sunlight directly, most comets are too faint to be visible without the aid of a telescope, but a few each decade become bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. In the outer Solar System, comets remain frozen and are difficult or impossible to detect from Earth due to their small size. As a comet approaches the inner Solar System, solar radiation causes the materials within the comet to vaporize and stream out of the nucleus. The streams of dust and gas each form their own distinct tail, the tail of dust is left behind in the comets orbit in such a manner that it often forms a curved tail called the antitail, only when it seems that it is directed towards the Sun. At the same time, the ion tail, made of gases, the ion tail follows the magnetic field lines rather than an orbital trajectory. Parallax viewing from the Earth may sometimes mean the tails appear to point in opposite directions. While the solid nucleus of comets is generally less than 50 km across, the coma may be larger than the Sun, the Ulysses spacecraft made an unexpected pass through the tail of the comet C/2006 P1, on February 3,2007. Evidence of the encounter was published in the October 1,2007 issue of the Astrophysical Journal, the observation of antitails contributed significantly to the discovery of solar wind. The ion tail is the result of ultraviolet radiation ejecting electrons off particles in the coma, once the particles have been ionised, they form a plasma which in turn induces a magnetosphere around the comet. The comet and its magnetic field form an obstacle to outward flowing solar wind particles. The comet is supersonic relative to the wind, so a bow shock is formed upstream of the comet. In this bow shock, large concentrations of cometary ions congregate, the field lines drape around the comet forming the ion tail. If the ion tail loading is sufficient, then the field lines are squeezed together to the point where, at some distance along the ion tail. This leads to a disconnection event. This has been observed on a number of occasions, notable among which was on the 20th, april 2007 when the ion tail of comet Encke was completely severed as the comet passed through a coronal mass ejection. This event was observed by the STEREO spacecraft, a disconnection event was also seen with C/2009 R1 on May 26,2010

15.
Antitail
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An antitail is a spike projecting from a comets coma which seems to go towards the Sun, and thus geometrically opposite to the other tails, the ion tail and the dust tail. However, this phenomenon is an illusion that is seen from the Earth. As Earth passes through the orbital plane, this disc is seen side on. The other side of the disc can sometimes be seen, though it tends to be lost in the dust tail, the antitail is therefore normally visible for a brief interval only when Earth passes through the comets orbital plane. Comet tail The coma and tail at the main Comet article, image of Comet Arend-Roland with prominent antitail Emily Lakdawalla. Spot a comet near Saturn tonight, online Encyclopedia of Science - Antitail