Why do we study comets? They are small objects that allow us to study the outer solar system and deep space without actually having to go there, because they conveniently bring in material to us as they pass the sun.
We can see comets with telescopes, binoculars, and sometimes even with your naked eyes. Comets are “icy conglomerates” (dirty snowballs). Comets are mostly water ice and dry ice with bits of ammonium, silicates like sand, carbon and complex carbon compounds. Comets are actually covered in what looks like icky roadside sludge – a black mass of carbon goo coats the outside of comets. Comets are actually very dark (only 4% reflective, one of the darkest objects in space) with craters all over the surface.
This is an online presentation Aurora did for about a thousand school-age children through her science publishing company, and she’s posted it so you can also participate and enjoy the show!