Copyright

Comet Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Comets are fascinating objects found in outer space! In this lesson, explore how comets are created and how they travel. Find out what people thought about comets long ago, and learn about famous comets. Updated: 02/07/2020

What Is a Comet?

A comet is a big ball of particles, including rocks, ice and dust. This big ball containing most of the material is called a nucleus. Comets are found traveling throughout space. When they come close to the sun, the particles in the comet heat up. This makes the comet appear bright and almost as if it has a tail. Comets can be seen from Earth, some with powerful telescopes and some without any visual assistance at all.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Facts About Saturn: Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What is a Comet?
  • 0:29 How Do Comets Travel?
  • 0:57 Historical Significance
  • 1:25 Famous Comets
  • 2:00 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

How Do Comets Travel?

Comets travel in a path called an orbit. This means that they travel around the sun. Unlike the orbit of planets, a comet's orbit is not always perfectly round. They are light and therefore can be tossed around thanks to the pull of gravity of planets they may be close to. Some comets have a short orbit, where they travel completely around the sun in a short amount of time. Other comets take hundreds of years to complete their orbit. Interestingly, the tail of a comet is always pointed away from the sun throughout its orbit.

Historical Significance

Comets have been viewed throughout history. Many famous paintings and drawings depict people viewing comets traveling close to the earth. Now we have scientific advances that help us understand what comets are and what they're made of. But imagine seeing an unfamiliar object in the sky and not having any idea what it was or if it was heading straight toward the earth! Many people believed that comets signaled danger or doom. These balls of ice and rock created fear and terror in many over the years!

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account