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It's a Comet!



Extension: Invite students to explore facts, myths, and legends linked to comets; then organize an informal debate or discussion on the topic "Comet Collisions with Earth: Fact or Myth?"

Note: A teacher's guide containing complete directions for this activity is available online.

Brief Description
Students learn about comets and combine a variety of virtual substances to create comets.



  • Identify the parts that make up a comet.
  • Describe what happens to a comet as it travels closer to the sun.
  • Identify the different types of comet tails.
  • Read about facts, legends, and myths related to comets.


comet, solar system

Materials Needed

Computer with a color monitor and Internet access, Amazing Space, photographs of comets (optional)

Lesson Plan

  • Review with students what they know about the solar system.
  • Discuss with students what they know about comets and display photographs of comets (optional).
  • Have students go to Amazing Space, click Comets , click Make a Comet, and complete the experiment. If necessary, explain to students how to use the microscope to examine the possible ingredients, how to select and mix the ingredients, and how to examine the results of the experiment.
  • Discuss with students the results of their experiments.



Lesson Plan Source

Edu.Space, the educational arm of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards