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Old 11-19-2014, 11:13 PM   #12
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Thumbs down """Asteroid"""

It is a comet, in the sense that it moves in an elongated ellipse around a star. Comets generally emit heavy dust or ice tails near their perihelion, or closest point to the sun. During the Philae landing, the comet was likely at a far distance from the sun, although I can't find a source that will confirm this. Regardless, the rock is a comet due to its irregular shape, high velocity, and independent, wide elliptical orbit around the sun. Also possible is that the comet is extinct or near-extinct. Comets which have passed the sun many times may have lost most of their volatile dust and ice, resulting in smaller tails, according to wikipedia. They state a dying comet may come to resemble an asteroid after a period of time. Other sources state the closing gap between the definition of a comet and asteroid. Hope this helped.

Last edited by HappyStikBeaver; 11-19-2014 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Pseudoedit
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