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Small Solar System Bodies

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When in your middle years
The great comet comes again
Remember me, a child,
Awake in the summer night,
Standing in my crib and
Watching that longhaired star
So many years ago.
Go out in the dark and see
Its plume over water
Dribbling on the liquid night,
And think that life and glory
Flickered on the rushing
Bloodstream for me once, and for
All who have gone before me,
Vessels of the billion-year long
River that flows now in your veins.

Kenneth Rexroth
Halley's Comet

Questions to Explore:
  • What causes meteors? Why do meteor showers occur?
  • What can meteorites tell us about objects that formed early in the history of the solar system?
  • How are meteorites related to asteroids?
  • How do comets produce their spectacular comas and tails?
  • Where do new comets come from?
  • What happens when asteroids and comets strike the Earth?

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