Originating in the remotest regions of the solar system, most comets follow regular eccentric orbits and appear in the inner solar system as periodic comets, some of which break up and can be the origin of annual meteor showers. They were formerly considered to be supernatural omens
- Some explanations for extinctions and evolution include strikes by asteroids or comets.
- We have just discussed some of the positive benefits of planetary impact by comets and asteroids.
- There are vast numbers of comets in the solar system, more than there are asteroids, but most lie out of sight beyond Pluto.
late Old English, from Latin cometa, from Greek komētēs 'long-haired (star)', from komē 'hair'; reinforced by Old French comete.
- More example sentences
- Ease of accessibility is itself a natural resource and opens up the economic possibility of efficient exportation of asteroidal or cometary natural resources to Earth and other exploration targets.
- The Hubble Space Telescope captured a picture of starlit asteroidal and cometary debris encircling the yellow dwarf star HD 107146.
- At a distance of one light-week, our solar system is lost in the Sun's glare; even farther out is a collection of cometary objects called the Oort Cloud, depicted as a sphere one light year across.
Definition of comet in:
- The British & World English dictionary