Capturing the Stuff of Space

Recommended Web sites:

For information about the Stardust mission, go to

You can learn more about the Stardust@home project at (University of California, Berkeley) and


(Planetary Society).

McDonagh, S. 2004. Catching a comet’s tail. Science News for Kids (Jan. 14). Available at

Sohn, Emily. 2003. Sky dust keeps falling on your head. Science News for Kids (Aug. 13).

Available at

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteorites— Roy A. Gallant

Published by Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, 2001.

Hairy stars, missing planets, and falling skies? Don’t panic! It’s just Roy Gallant describing the properties of comets, asteroids, and meteorites. Full-page color photographs illustrate this book bring these “out-of-this-world” concepts “down to Earth” for the reader. Find out about icebergs in space, learn about the chances of Earth being struck by an extraterrestrial object, and get a glimpse of the view from space in this book.

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Power Words

comet A mass of ice, frozen gases, and dust particles that travels around the Sun in a long path. When a comet comes close to the Sun, it can be seen in the sky as a bright object with a glowing head and a long, streaming tail.

Although a comet might look like a fuzzy star in the sky, it is not like a star at all. Comets are cold, not hot—astronomers sometimes call them “dirty snowballs”—and they have no light of their own. Instead, they only shine when they come close enough to the Sun for their ice to melt into a cloud of glowing gas and dust.

interstellar Existing or happening between the stars. Particles of dust and gas drift in interstellar space.


Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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