The Chemistry of Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors 

(Student worksheet for "Cosmic Chemistry" Web Quest")

Created by:
Michael Antrim 
Irvine Unified School District 

   Directions: Use the Internet web sites below along with any text resources that you have to answer the questions. Some of the questions require only that you locate specific information, other questions (a bit more challenging) involve more critical thinking, requiring you to make inferences and draw conclusions about the information you find.

   Web Resources: Use these links as your primary resources for finding the answers to the questions below.

    Discovery questions: Answer the following using the web resources above.

  1. Explain the primary composition of comets (what compounds/elements)?
  2. Explain why a comet develops a tail when it nears the sun? What is the composition of the tail?
  3. What is a comet "jet"? How can these affect a comets orbital path?
  4. Find information on the recently observed Comet Linear. What happened to this comet in June, 2000? What probably caused this to happen?
  5. What is the connection between comets and meteors (especially meteor showers)?
  6. What is the general compostion of most meteorites?

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Last Updated 
August 16, 2000