A comet is a small solar system body that orbits the Sun and is composed of varying amounts of ices, rocks and dust. Explore the data for thousands of comets using Wolfram|Alpha. Many comets have eccentric orbits that carry them far out into the solar system and then back toward the Sun. As they approach the Sun, the increased solar radiation causes the ices to sublimate and turn into a gas that is carried downstream in the solar wind. Most people know historically famous comets such as Halley's Comet and Comet Hale–Bopp; other comets have become more famous recently, like 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (often abbreviated as comet 67P), which was the first comet to have a lander and dedicated orbiter approach it.
Explore comet properties, which are primarily orbital in nature since few comets have been visited directly to obtain physical property measurements.