How are meteoroids related to asteroids and comets?

1 Answer

Meteoroids are basically smaller asteroids. Asteroids and comets have a lot in common, yet differ from each other in certain ways.


Meteoroids are rocks or other space debris floating about in our Solar System. They can be as small as dust particles or as large as 10 meters in diameter. Any meteoroid larger than this is referred to as an asteroid.

Asteroids are small rocky or metallic astronomical bodies orbiting around the Sun. They may also contain organic compound. Although referred to as "small astronomical bodies", they can be quite large compared to meteoroids. The most famous asteroid in perhaps the Ceres which, with a diameter of 951 km, can be regarded as a minor planet. Asteroids can not be distinguished with the naked eyes.

Comets are small icy astronomical bodies orbiting the Sun. Comets sometimes have elongated orbits, and are very close to the Sun at one point and very far away at the other. When close to the Sun, comets show a visible coma, often referred to as a tail. This phenomenon is due to the effects of solar radiation and solar wind on the nucleus of the comet. The most famous comet is the Halley's comet, visible every 76 years from Earth, and last seen on 1986.