Asteroid vs. Comet: What Are the Main Differences?


So it happened in October 2017 that an object made its appearance in the interior of Milky Way at about 196,000 miles per hour. After that, it just headed away. The astronomers were able to identify it as something that’s not from our galaxy, but from a system that’s far away from us. The object was moving way too fast to see what it really was, but they were able to take a closer look at some point, just as close as a telescope could get. Of course, they first thought it was a comet, then they believe it was actually an asteroid, only to come to the original idea, a comet, but with a lot of organic junk on its surface.

A research which was published in Nature now found out that is was a comet. They used the changes in its trajectory to come to this conclusion.


Asteroids are small rocks which are orbiting the Sun. The largest one is called Vesta and is 329 miles around. There are also smaller ones, with a measurement of 33 feet. Astronomers have found out 780,290 asteroids in the entire Solar System, and they’re put in 3 classes: stony, metallic and made up of rocks which are actually more clay (they can also have silica).


Comets are not as many as asteroids in the Solar System, they’re about  3,526. The thing with comets is that we already paid them a visit. A specific mission called Stardust went to the tail of one comet and came back with some samples.

A comet can be described as a dirty block of ice. Its heart is called nucleus and it’s really small. It also stays solid when it travels in the outer space of the solar system.


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