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Actually comets are only dirty snowballs orbiting the Sun in very excentric courses. When they come near the Sun their famous tail shows, which is blown away by the solar wind. The tail is always opposite to the Sun.

Sources for new comets are the Oort Cloud (long periodic comets) and the Kuiper belt (short periodic comets).
Commonly comets have a size of a few kilometers (smaller ones wouldn't strike attention) and an orbit period of a few to several hundred thousand years.

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    A Comet
Photo: Esa

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