Distant Worlds pp 269-284 | Cite as

Comets: Cosmic icebergs

  • Peter Bond


For centuries, comets have inspired awe and wonde. Many ancient civilizations saw them as portents of death and disaster, omens of great social and political upheavals. Shrouded in thin, luminous veils with tails streaming behind them, these “long-haired stars” were termed “comets” by the ancient Greeks (the Greek word kome meant “hair”). Even today, explanations involving spirits and supernatural occurrences prevail among primitive people living in isolated communities. However, ancient philosophers and scientists tried to provide a more scientific explanation for these unpredictable phenomena.


Solar Wind Solar System Dust Particle Giant Planet Deep Space 
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© Praxis Publishing, Ltd. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Bond

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