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Stock Illustration of artwork of the nucleus of a comet
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15 Jun 2012
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artwork of the icy core (nucleus) of a comet. comets are mostly frozen ices (water, methane and ammonia) and dust, and they are often referred to as 'dirty snowballs'. the nucleus of a comet can be many kilometres across. they orbit the sun on highly elliptical orbits. when far from the sun they are inert; but as they approach the inner solar system the sun's heat warms them up, surface ices begin to melt and jets of high-pressure gases begin to erupt from the surface. it is these gases that give the comet its distinctive coma (head) and tail.

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artwork astronomy astrophysics boiling coma comet cometary comets computer generated illustration core cosmology dirty snowball frozen gas horizontal ice ices icy illustration nucleus orbit planet planetary movement science single object solar system space space movement space object star stellar

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