poetry and prose about place

places off-planet #2 – three comets

with 16 comments

In my life so far, I have seen three major comets – Halley’s Comet in 1986, Hyakutake in 1996, and Hale-Bopp in 1997.  There have been comets since then, I know, but I have always been asleep!

A comet is composed of a ‘nucleus’ of rock, dust and frozen gas, and a tail.  The tail is formed when the gasses in the nucleus are heated by the sun and create an atmosphere or ‘coma’.  The sun’s radiation and the solar wind cause the coma to flow away from the sun as a tail.  Since the comet can be moving away from the sun, sometimes this means the comet moves in the direction of its tail!

How many comets have you seen?





from the Greek



to wear long hair


©  Jane Tims 1997


Written by jane tims

May 5, 2012 at 6:36 am

16 Responses

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  1. Love your drawing, Jane. 🙂

    I’ve seen the same three comets. It seems pretty amazing to me, to see three comets in one lifetime.



    May 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    • Hi Robin. There have been others but usually they are only visible in a telescope. Jane


      jane tims

      May 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

  2. Fantastic drawing, Jane! Now I can imagine very well the experience of seeing a comet… I’ve seen a couple of shooting stars, though, and I always felt they were good omens…


    Barbara Rodgers

    May 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    • Hi Barbara. Thanks for liking my drawing. We have seen many shooting stars and even a satellite falling to earth. The shooting stars last only a moment and sometimes I am sure you can hear them! The satellite made a longlasting (two moments!) streak across the sky. Jane


      jane tims

      May 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

  3. Hi Jane,

    It was lovely to meet you yesterday. I appreciate getting to know you a little. I like this post…your drawings are always so soft and delicate, capturing the essence of the blog post’s subject. Best wishes as you move foraward with your new book.


    Carol Steel

    May 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

    • Hi. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work too. I think you should pull a writing group together. It’s a great way to practice writing and reading and to benefit from others’ experience … lets them benefit from, and enjoy, your work. Jane


      jane tims

      May 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

  4. Jane, your drawing is absolutely spectacular. I have never seen a comet, but just admiring your drawing of one is a memorable experience!


    Jane Fritz

    May 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

    • Hi Jane. We’ll have to find one for you to look at! They can’t really be predicted until some comet-watcher spots them. Hope there is a visible one in the next couple of years. Jane


      jane tims

      May 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

  5. Jane, Your drawing is wonderful! Those are the comets on my list too. I think it was Hale Bopp that seemed to stay in the sky so long- my husband and I would look for him every night and missed him when he left! Kathleen


  6. We’re supposed to have shooting stars tonight too…but they say the huge moon tonight might block them out with its light. If the clouds don’t clear out, we may not see stars or moon…. so I keep waiting to catch a falling star and put it in my pocket…



    May 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    • Hi. I remember ‘Catch a Falling Star’ by Perry Como! I think it was the first song I ever liked on the radio! A few years ago I found a Perry Como album at a yard sale. Thanks for reminding me of this. Jane


      jane tims

      May 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

      • Me too. Each year I try to see if I can catch a falling star… but I have never ever seen one!



        May 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      • Hi. I am so sorry you have never seen a falling star … keep looking because they are amazing to see, even if they only last a fraction of a second! Jane


        jane tims

        May 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

  7. Such a beautiful pencil drawing Jane! I still remember seeing Halley’s Comet when i was a teenager. We wrapped up warm, and went down to the cliffs at the beach. I couldn’t see it, but an astronomer who was there with his telescope showed me and I remember thinking “it’s so small!”



    May 5, 2012 at 7:22 am

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