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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2020 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.

 

Comets

Small bodies of ice and dust orbiting the Sun. Their luminous tails are most visible when, near the Sun, the vaporizing of the ice gives rise to the tails. The tail always points away from the Sun. Some comets orbit in an ellipse and return at regular intervals. Others orbit in an undefined ellipse, or what is called "parabolic."


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