Why do we call a comet, a comet?…..


“Comet” is from two Greek words. Kometes means “with long hair,” and is derived from kome, meaning “the hair of the head.”

To name the stars that orbited the sun and trailed long, cloudlike tails, the Greeks used their noun aster (“star”) and added kometes. This combination meant “a star with long hair” or “a star with a tail.”

The Romans borrowed kometes and changed the spelling to cometa, from which we get “comet.”


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