The tail of a comet is formed due to exposure to solar radiation, it heats the surface of the comet and leads to the sublimation of matter from it. In physics, this term means the transition from a solid-state to a gas, bypassing the liquid.
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Methane, water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and others transform into a gaseous state. In this case, gases tear out a huge amount of dust particles from the surface and carry them away from the comet.
Gas and dust particles, illuminated by the Sun form the comet’s visible tail, are drawn at a slight angle to the direction of the comet’s orbit, and gas is stretched radially away from the Sun.
Thus, the tail of the comet is not always present, but only during periods of approach to the Sun, which are relatively short, and emissions of matter are not as significant as it might seem based on the size of the tail, it is actually extremely rarefied.
Therefore, comets, depending on their size, can survive thousands and millions of cycles of approaching the Sun before they fall apart, and this is from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of years.
It is believed that new comets regularly fly into the inner part of the solar system from the Oort cloud, therefore, for over the 4.5 billion years of the existence of our system, all the comets have not disappeared from it.