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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This is a drawing of what the surface of a comet might look like.
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JPL

The Comet Nucleus

A comet nucleus is the very center of the comet. It is solid and is made of a special sort of dust which scientists call "fluffy". They call it fluffy because it is full of holes and could be very light.

At this point, scientists do not know whether the nucleus is very hard, like solid ground, or very soft, like a snowball.

Scientists are going to use the Rosetta mission to land a probe on the surface of a comet! This and other comet missions will certainly help scientists understand the very center of comets!

Last modified June 22, 2005 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA