Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2007-01-20 13:07:54

It will eventually dissipate. Comets lose some of their mass every time they get near the sun. The more volatile components evaporate more quickly than the rocks, so over time the rate of outgassing goes down and eventually all you have is a bunch of dust and rocks flying in formation. The reason there are still comets around is that comets only rarely come near the sun. Mostly they orbit on the most remote fringes of the solar system, so cold that any molecule they happen to run into sticks to them. They don't have tails out there, they are just big dirty ice balls. Comets can only come near enough the sun to create a tail if their orbits get disturbed in a profound way, something that doesn't happen often. Once a comet starts orbiting near the sun it won't last long, at least on a cosmic time scale.

User Avatar

Your Answer


Still Have Questions?

Related Questions

What did people think of comets in the 1800's?

Comets have been in space since the start of time. In the 1800's there were many people who knew comets where a space phenomena, there were people who thought it was a message from the gods. What people thought of the comets depended on their cultural beliefs.

How do comets catch fire?

Comets do not catch fire at all, since comets are generally regarded as "dirty snowballs" in space. Their light is caused by the interaction of water vapour and dust particles with the solar wind and no combustion is taking place.

What are comets and meteors made of?

Comets and meteors are made of rocks and boulders same as on earth. But since they are in space for a long time, they might have some differences, little differences.

What do comets and asteroids and meteors have in common?

Most are unchanged since their formation in the solar nebula.

What do asteroids and comets have in common?

Most are unchanged since their formation in the solar nebula.Correct

How many people have watched Macbeth?

Since it was first written around 1606, millions of people have seen this play performed. Millions and millions.

Why are there rivers in Cairo?

There is not reason why for the rivers exsist, they were just created naturally since millions and millions of years.

What is larger thousands of millions or millions of thousands?

Since multiplication is commutative, a thousand millions is the same as a million thousands. They're both one billion.

Would you Convert 31.5 cm into mm?

i wouldnt, since this gives 315 milimeters, which is a harder number to imagine.

Why comets halley is an bad omen?

It isn't. Since the times of ancient Greece comets have been believed to be omens of catastrophes. There is no evidence to substantiate such claims. Comets can cause destruction when they collide with Earth. Halley's comet's orbit does not intersect Earth's, so there is no risk of collision.

What are the bad things about Jupiter?

the bad things about jupiter are when u get there u wouldnt be able to stand on the planet since its a gas planet, you also wouldnt be able to see since there is so much toxins and gasses in the air,and it would take longer to get out of the planet because of the toxinsi hope i helped

How does studying meteorites help scientists learn about comets?

it helps scientists learn when other kinds of comets pass earth,since meteorites are made of comet particles simon joseph PA

What small item designed to hold things together was invented in 1858 and has since sold millions and millions?


Why do plants need to adapt to the life in desert?

because then they would be thirsty for more water and since they wouldnt get it they wouldn't survive

Why do comets glow and look bright?

because Comets reflect light from the sun. This is the same way you see the moon glowing. When a comet's orbit nears the Sun it starts to warm up since they are usually black in colour.

How long has it been since stegosaurus lived?

millions of years ago

How are comets different from moons?

While a moon in a sense can be considered a "mirror", comets are way different. The moon has more similar qualities to Earth then any comet, since the moon has layers such as a crust, mantle, and core. Comets on the other hand are a different matter, for they are a mixture of ice (with the ice being so cold it could be dry ice) and dirt. That is why some people call comets "dirty snowballs."

When did craters form on mercury?

The craters on Mercury were formed by the impacts of asteroids and comets, which have been hitting Mercury since it formed.

Is there still an idea or information about comets asteroids or meteors that are still unresolved?

Much about what we think we know about comets is, at best, educated guesswork. We have sampled the tails of three comets, and all were different. We observed an impact into the nucleus of one comet. We believe that comets have a source in the "Oort Cloud", but no instrument currently exists that is sensitive enough to detect the Oort Cloud - so we have NO EVIDENCE that the "Oort Cloud" exists. It makes "sense"; comets have to come from SOMEPLACE, since no comet could have survived 4.5 billion years of close passes by the Sun. But the fact is that what we know about comets is like a bucket, and what we do NOT know about comets is like an ocean. And over the next 300 years, I predict that we will discover that at least half of what we "know" about comets will turn out to have been wrong.

What are the inventions since 1965?

There have been millions of patents applied for and granted for inventions since 1965. It is not practical to list them here.

How many abortions were there since roe vs wade in the US?

About 41 millions.

Is death the answer?

not likely, since it is only one solution from among millions of choices

How many Whitney Houston records have sold since her death?

5 millions

Was the earth different before?

Very. 4.5 billion years ago the earth was just forming and was entirely molten. When the earth's crust first solidified it was a totally dry rock. It took many millions of years for enough comets to collide with earth to give it its first oceans. Many things have happened on earth since then.

What effect does the sun have on comets?

since the comet is made of ice, when it gets nearer to the sun it melts down because of the heat of the sun