When I began research for this week’s topic, my first quest was learning the difference between an asteroid and a comet. Here’s what I discovered. Comets (dirty snowballs) are primarily composed of ice and dust. As they near the sun, the heat melts the comet’s ices and releases the dust particles we view as the comet’s tail. Asteroids (minor planets) are large rocks ranging in size from a few feet to several hundred miles across. Ready to learn more?

Asteroid Introduction4 stars

Asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth are called meteoroids. When a meteoroid strikes our atmosphere at high velocity, friction causes this chunk of space matter to incinerate in a streak of light known as a meteor. If the meteoroid does not burn up completely, what's left strikes Earth's surface and is called a meteorite."

Asteroids: Deadly Impact5 stars

"WARNING ! AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY! DEPARTMENT OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL PHENOMENA. COMPUTER ACCESS RESTRICTED TO DEP AGENTS WITH LEVEL 4 SECURITY CLEARANCE." Are you ready for your assignment as an investigator with the Department of Extraterrestrial Phenomena? In order to solve the four real-life impact incidents in this National Geographic simulation, you'll need to know a bit of asteroid science and history.

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Doomsday Asteroid

National Museum of Natural History: A Blast from the Past

Was Johnny Appleseed a Comet?

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Asteroids." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Apr. 2001. Web. 2 Jul. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published April 25, 2001. Last modified April 25, 2001.

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