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comet click to hear : comet

Small icy body that partially evaporates as it approaches the Sun; made up of a head with a solid core and tails composed of gas and dust.
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coma nucleus head dust tail ion tail

coma click to hear : coma

Cloud of gas and dust particles emitted by the expulsion of gas from the nucleus when a comet approaches the Sun.

nucleus click to hear : nucleus

Central part of the comet; composed mainly of ice and rocky matter.

head click to hear : head

Part made up of the nucleus and the coma.

dust tail click to hear : dust tail

Visible tail formed by dust particles pushed out of the coma by pressure from the Sun’s rays; can reach over 10 million kilometers in length.

ion tail click to hear : ion tail

Almost invisible tail formed by the gas of the coma pushed back by the solar wind; can reach several hundreds of millions of kilometers in length.