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This is an alignment date.
Originally posted by weedwhacker
reply to post by Artanis667
"the comet is estimated to be about 80,000 km in diameter."
Calm your family.
That "diameter" refers to the coma....the gaseous "halo" that surrounds comets as they approach their host stars. This gaseous envelope is not much more dense than the vacuum of space.
The actual "chunk" in the center, the real mass (mostly rocky and metallic elements, and ice of many types) is in the range of, at most (estimated) about 10 km
Originally posted by SnedsDawg
What I don't understand is why it's coming anywhere near earth in general.
If something is moving in an elliptical orbit, then there needs to be some kind of gravitational force dragging it to each end of the orbit. (As to my understanding of it anyway, I could be wrong)
I don't know why it's going to orbit around earth and then back outside of the solar system. It doesn't make sense.
We're by far the heaviest and densest body in our solar system, why is it coming near us?
How is there enough matter in that 10 km rock to possibly create such an enormous gaseous cloud without the rock dissolving completely?
Originally posted by linux2216
So are you saying an object only 10 km in diameter will develop a corona 80,000 km in diameter?