NASA expert reveals difference between 'comets, meteors and asteroids'

A NASA expert has revealed the difference between asteroids, comets, and meteors in a new video posted to its YouTube channel.

@JakConnorTT
Published Thu, Nov 25 2021 12:37 AM CST

NASA has taken to its YouTube channel to post a video answering the question, "What's the Difference Between Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors?".

Space can be quite confusing to those that aren't knowledgeable in the terminology used and what names define certain celestial objects. To make it easier for everyone to understand, NASA created an awesome series called "We Asked A NASA Expert", and this series includes answering some of the most popular questions about space in short, quick videos. In this week's episode, NASA scientist Ryan Park explains the differences between asteroids, comets, and meteors.

According to Ryan Park, a NASA near-Earth asteroid expert, an asteroid is primarily rocky, and most of them can be found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and when observing an asteroid through a telescope, it appears as a point of light. Park explains that comets, like asteroids, orbit the Sun but are composed of ice and dust. When a comet gets close to the Sun, its ice and dust contents begin to vaporize, which gives off that iconic "tail" when viewing one through a telescope.

A meteor or meteoroid is a fragment of either an asteroid or comet that is often created from a collision. When a meteoroid gets close to the Earth and enters Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a "meteor", and if it's large enough not to disintegrate and can reach Earth's surface, it's then called a "meteorite".

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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