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Physics - Near Earth Objects - Tiny Facts!

The Universe

The nearest star other than our Sun, is called Proxima Centauri, which is 4 light years away or 37, 840 billion km.


The Universe consists of nine planets and countless other objects such as comets, asteroids, stars and meteorites.



A comet consists of a central core, or nucleus of dust and ice; a cloud of dust and gas around the nucleus, called the coma; and one or more tails. About one million million other comets orbit the sun unseen, far beyond the most distant planet.



Thousands of tiny planets called asteroids orbit the sun, mainly between Mars and Jupiter. Most of them are lumps of rock and metal just a few kilometres in diameter. 



Huge lumps of rock called meteorites pass through the Earth's atmosphere without burning up completely. About 25,000 years ago, a meteorite that weighed about 900,000 tonnes caused a crater in Arizona, USA, 1,200m across.



There are two types of meteors: those that occur individually and those that occur in showers. This spectacular meteor shower occurred in1833. Similar impressive displays occur every 33 years during November.

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