The Comet 2 Summary | Class 8 | English | Questions Answers


The Comet 2 Summary | Class 8 English | Questions Answers

The Comet 2 Summary

The Comet 1 Summary : This story is the second part of The Comet -Part 1. Dr. James Forsyth and Sir John Macpherson had a discussion and then Sir John dropped Dr. James at his hotel, past midnight at 1 a.m. When he looked out of his window, there was hardly anyone on the street. He wondered if his calculations about Comet were right.

Soon enough, James met famous scientists from different parts of the world. They came to a secret meeting that was organized by Sir John Macpherson. Mr. Manoj Duttada, who discovered the comet, also came to this meeting which included many other scientists and experts in different fields such as nuclear physics, computer science and astronomy. They all wanted to discuss how to stop Comet Dutta from crashing into Earth. According to some calculations by scientist James Forsyth and others, there’s a good chance that this would be very dangerous for us on Earth because it could cause consequences that are not good for humans or the planet at all. The purpose of the conference was to figure out how to stop the comet from hitting Earth.

Scientists talked about Comet Dutta. They talked for one week. Duttada was at the conference and got to meet Sir John Macpherson. The scientists checked James’s calculations to make sure there was not a loop in it. After talking, they came to the conclusion that there is no way that Earth could escape Comet Dutta without getting hit by it or just touching its atmosphere. The comet was more likely to cause damage to life and property. They rejected defensive measures and the main idea of their plan was to deflect the comet by giving it a push. That could only be done with nuclear power.

Sir John was worried about the project. He said he would wait to buy Christmas presents until December 15th. By then, they would know if they could stop the Comet Dutta from hurting people on Earth. Duttada was worried, but when he returned to Calcutta, the people honored him for his achievement. Besides, his wife Indrani Debi organized a yagna that made it so priests could bless him and reduce the bad effects of Comet Dutta. Duttada was not superstitious. He did not believe in the ceremony that his wife wanted to do. He had the least interest in it.

Duttada was talking to Sir John about the comet every day. With the passage of time, they became friends. Sir John also told Duttada about the progress of the Project Light Brigade. But Duttada became very tense and couldn’t share his worries with anyone, because he was watching for Comet Daddy all day, too.

On November 18, a special messenger came on a scooter from the British Council. He had an urgent telex message for Duttada. The message was from Sir John McPherson for Duttada. It said that he was confident to buy his Christmas presents on December 15th. This meant that the secret meeting of scientists and their plan to stop Comet Dutta’s collision with Earth was successful! Duttada heaved a great sigh of relief and then rushed to his favorite rasagolla shop in excitement!

On December 15, a comet came very close to Earth. Millions of people watched it. But they were unaware of the danger and what might happen if the comet had hit Earth. The person who saved us from this disaster was Indrani Debi. She did a special yagna (ritual) and because of that we were saved. Hearing this, Duttada thought about his grandson doing the yagna (ritual) and saying mantras (special words).

Meanwhile, this reminded Duttada of the scientists who were talking at a conference. He saw two different pictures of society. One was rational, and the other was superstitious. The gap between them seemed huge for him to close. He wondered if people would ever be able to get rid of it all together. Duttada didn’t know what to think about that question.


NCERT Solutions of The Comet – II

Comprehension Check (Page 83)

Question 1: “For a moment James wondered if he had done his sums right.” Why was James doubtful about his sums and calculations?

Answer: James was worried about his calculations because when he looked outside, it seemed like a starry night with a comet that is going to hit the Earth. It is hard for him to believe that this peaceful night could be impacted by something in the future.

Question 2: What did the scientists at the conference say about James’s ‘sums’?

Answer: The experts and scientists checked how James Forsyth calculated with the newest observations of Comet Dutta. They found that his calculations were correct, so a comet might hit the Earth soon. But there was a small chance that it would just graze the atmosphere of the Earth, but this is not good enough for not taking action.

Question 3: Immediate action was needed, the scientists decided. Give one example each of ‘defensive’ and ‘offensive’ action mentioned in the text.

Answer: The expert said that the best way to protect ourselves from Comet Dutta was to live in underground bunkers. But they also said that this is impractical. The other option was to deflect it by giving it a push. We could do this by placing a nuclear payload in a spaceship and sending it on its way.

Question 4: “I am not buying any Christmas presents till December 15.” What did Sir John mean by that?

Answer: When Sir John said that he was not buying any Christmas presents, he meant that he was unsure about the success of the experiment. If the comet hit Earth, it would be a problem and his experiment might fail.

Comprehension Check (Page 87)

Question 1: What is Duttada expected to do on his return from London?

Answer: When Duttada came back from London, his wife Indrani thought that he should perform a ritual to make the comet less bad. She called priests to bless her husband too.

Question 2: What is his reaction to the proposal?

Answer: Duttada did not like the idea of sitting on a yagna to fight the evil effects of a comet that will probably hit Earth. He said that this is only superstition, and he refused to do the yagna meant to fight the ill-effects of a comet.

Question 3: (i) What does ‘Project Light Brigade’ refer to?

(ii) What does Sir John say about the Project in his letter to Duttada in October?


  1. When the scientists who were in a secret meeting thought that comets were going to crash into Earth, they made a plan to stop them. They called it ‘Project Light Brigade’ and they decided to cause a nuclear explosion next to the comet so it would change direction.
  2. Sir John said in his letter to Duttada that they had started the Project Light Brigade and they were hoping for the best. Sir John said that the spaceship was launched on time.

Question 4: Did Sir John buy Christmas presents on December 15? How did Duttada get to know about it?

Answer: John bought Christmas presents on December 15. When Duttada came to know about it, he sent an urgent telex message to John Macpherson. The letter mentioned that John was confident of buying Christmas presents on December 15, which means his “Project Light Brigade” was successful.

Question 5: Why, according to Indrani Debi, had the comet not been disastrous? Do you agree with her?

Answer: According to Indrani Debi, the comet did not prove to be disastrous because she felt that the shanti yagna performed in her house was the best solution. It helped in averting the comet’s path from colliding with Earth.

No, I don’t agree with her because her opinion was based on superstitions. All the people in the secret conference worked together to save planet Earth. They did this by causing a nuclear explosion near the comet’s path that would deflect it away from Earth and all the people of planet Earth from being destroyed. This experiment proved fruitful and helped save them from being destroyed.

Question 6: Is Duttada’s general outlook

(i) rational?

(ii) moral?

(iii) traditional?

Choose the right word. Say why you think it right.

Answer: Duttada was a scientist. He had a scientific outlook when he looked at stars and their movements. Comets are made from chemicals in the sky, but there is no connection between scientific reason and traditions or customs that can cause bad things to happen on Earth. So he did not participate in the yagna because of this.

Exercise (Page 88)

Discuss the following topics in small groups. Write your answers afterwards.

Question 1: Should a scientist’s findings be suppressed if they seem disturbing? Give reasons for and against the topic.

Answer: A scientist should not be ignored or silenced because of what he/she discovers about the universe. Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer who created a model of the universe that placed the Sun, rather than Earth, at the center of it. He found out that his theory was correct, but some people thought that Earth was at the center.

Question 2: Do you think ours is a traditional society? What are some of the things we do to be called traditional? Do you find these things useless or useful?

Answer: People in society are still traditional and conservative. This is mainly because of the ignorance of people, not science or facts. Priests try to make people do things that they don’t need to do anymore. They believe that they are doing this for God, but it doesn’t work at all.

Question 3: Give two or three examples to show how science has been useful to us.

Answer: Science helps us find the truth about things that we don’t know. It’s always changing. Science has made life better for people. It has helped them get food and protect them from bad things like floods and diseases.

Question 4: Give one example to show how science has been misused, and has as a result been harmful to us.

Answer: There have been various ways science has been used. Nuclear power and atomic bombs were created from discoveries of science. The use of this has led to the loss of life and property around the world.

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