Category Archives: comets

Why Are the Best Times to Observe Meteors Between Midnight and Dawn?

Question: Why are all the best times for viewing meteor showers between midnight and dawn?  As I imagine looking down on the solar system from above, I think of a stream of comet debris as impacting all of our outward-facing … Continue reading

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Proof that the Oort Cloud Exists?

Question: I’m somewhat skeptical about the existence of the Oort Cloud. Some of the estimates I’ve heard indicate that it could stretch halfway to Proxima Centauri. Unless the interstellar medium is itself far less “empty” than predicted, it would seem … Continue reading

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Location of a List of Solar System Objects and Their Naming Conventions?

Question: Simple question.  What is the website address that I may gain access to the recorded bodies and there naming conventions?  — Chuck Answer: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) maintains a web site which contains all of the information regarding … Continue reading

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Ages of the Taurid and Perseid Meteor Showers

Question:  Hi, I have a quick question about the meteor showers known as the Taurids and Perseids: would they have been visible to an observer on Earth in around 4000 BCE? Or are they a more recent phenomenon? Many thanks, … Continue reading

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Comet Lovejoy’s Tail

Question: I just saw the photos of comet Lovejoy and its wiggly tail on It appears the tail is pointed toward the sun. Can you explain this? I thought the solar wind always drew the tail away from the … Continue reading

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