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What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

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Asked by I.Helen, Last updated: Sep 18, 2020

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2 Answers

G. Horace

G. Horace

G. Horace
G. Horace, Content Developer, Chicago

Answered Oct 31, 2018

The main difference between asteroids and comets to each other are the components that make up these two heavenly bodies. Comets are normally made of dust, ice, and other rocky materials. Asteroids, on the other hand, are made out of metal and rocks. It seems that asteroids and comets have been around in the solar system for millions of years. They may be available even before the first signs of life became evident here on earth.

Asteroids and comets also come in various sizes. Comets are a lot of bigger than the big asteroids probably because of their components. The debris that comes from comets especially as they pass through different spaces will form meteors.

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V. Barnes

V. Barnes

V. Barnes
V. Barnes

Answered May 18, 2018

Comets are comprised of icy mixtures of water, other chemicals, dust, and rocky materials. Asteroids are also made of rocky materials but they also contain metals. Because both celestial bodies orbit our sun, the water and ice in a comet can melt when it gets close to the sun. But asteroids, since they are mostly rock and metal, remain mostly unchanged.

Scientists believe both comets and asteroids are “leftovers” from the formation of our Solar System approximately 4.5 billion years ago and that they may have more things in common than they have differences.

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