Artwork of the nucleus of a comet

Artwork of the nucleus of a comet

F010/6922

Royalty Free

Caption

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 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.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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