The Comet 1 Summary | Class 8 English Questions Answers
The Comet 1 Summary
The Comet 1 Summary : The Comet Part 1 revolves around Manoj Dutta, an amateur scientist who had found a comet. He loved to watch the sky with his telescope. One night in December, Indrani Debi (his wife) woke up because the cool breeze was blowing in her room and she saw that her husband had left the door open. He went to watch the night sky with his telescope. He didn’t wear a sweater in the cold weather. Indrani Debi always cursed the telescope and felt it had grabbed her husband’s attention, like a shrewd woman.
Duttada had saved his retirement money to buy a telescope. He would use the telescope to look at the stars in the night sky. His secret ambition was to find a new comet in space. New comets come from faraway corners of the solar system and have long tails that are lit up by sunlight when they get closer to the sun, then they disappear for many years or centuries. He thought that professional astronomers were too focused on finding galaxies. But he found a new comet in the night sky. He looked at his charts again and was sure that there had not been any mistake in his calculations.
Two days after Duttada discovered a new comet, a newspaper called ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika’ wrote about the discovery. He first told the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) about the comet and its whereabouts. Later on, IIA confirmed this discovery and the new comet was named after Duttada as ‘Come Dutta’. Moreover, his wife Indrani Debi always thought that comets brought bad luck. But he told her they didn’t. Comets are just heavenly objects and don’t have anything to do with Earth’s problems or issues.
Meanwhile, an astronomer at King’s College in Cambridge received a letter that was sent by Sir John Macpherson. In the letter, John told James that he would like to meet him that night and discuss a confidential matter. John handed over a manuscript to James that was supposed to be published in Nature magazine. When James asked how he got
Dr. Forsyth didn’t want to publish John’s manuscript, so he asked why. John said that Taylor, the editor of Nature where his paper was supposed to be published was a close aide of his. James said they should publish it because it is urgent. But John said he thinks it is important and they shouldn’t publish right away.
As they talked, they understood that if Comet Dutta collides with Earth then it might have a catastrophic impact. James said his calculations were precise and highly accurate. He said that the collision was most likely to happen except for certain rare circumstances. Sir John Macpherson said publishing of his paper can have profound implications on society.
James was worried about not publishing his paper about Comet Dutta. Sir John Macpherson told him that the paper would be published, but James just needed to say a few things with “if” and “but.” This way people won’t panic. Sir John Macpherson also said that he would call an urgent meeting with experts.
NCERT Solutions of The Comet – I
Comprehension Check (Page 77)
Question 1: Why does Indrani Debi dislike Duttada’s “hobnobbing” with Dibya?
Answer: Duttada liked to look at stars and spent a lot of time with his telescope, “Dibya.” Duttada’s wife Indrani was jealous because she thought that the telescope was like a woman who had taken her husband’s attention.
Question 2: She is complaining and smiling. Why is she smiling?
Answer: Indrani Debi was unhappy with Dibya and Duttada’s telescope. But she would just smile and think about how her husband never notices the problems of living. Even though his doctor told him to wear a sweater, he wouldn’t remember to put one on if it was sitting next to him on his bedside chair.
Question 3: (i) What was Duttada’s secret ambition?
(ii) What did he do to achieve it?
- Duttada was an amateur astronomer who wanted to find a comet. To him, the telescope was fulfilling his life ambition. He was optimistic that the professional astronomers might not notice a comet as they are looking at stars and nebulous galaxies.
- Duttada is an amateur astronomer. He always wanted to have enough money to buy a telescope and enough time to sit with it at night. After his retirement, he bought an eight-inch long telescope that he called Dibya Chakshu or Divine Eye. Every night, Duttada sits with this telescope and looks at the stars in the sky. He hopes that he will find a comet, because professionals might miss it due to their assigned space exploration program (programme).
Question 4: What is the difference between a planet and a comet, as given in the story?
Answer: According to the story, comets are objects that come from the far side of the Solar System. They also orbit around the Sun but their orbits are more different than planets. A comet’s tail is bright when it gets close to the Sun, and then when it leaves, it goes back into darkness.
Question 5: Why was Duttada hopeful that he would discover a new comet soon?
Answer: Duttada was hopeful that he would soon find a new comet. He knew that professional astronomers were busy with their pre-assigned programs while exploring faint stars and nebulous galaxies. They might not see the new comet because they don’t expect to see it in the first place. Amateurs often found comets, which the professionals had mostly missed.
Question 6: Why does Duttada say — “I almost wish I had not discovered this comet.”?
Answer: Duttada was going to a ceremony when he said to himself, “I kind of wish I hadn’t discovered this comet.” Because he found the new comet, there were a lot of people at the ceremony. Duttada was an introvert person and all these people were not his favorite thing.
Question 7: Why is his wife unhappy about the discovery?
Answer: Indrani Debi’s husband Duttada was unhappy about the discovery of his comet because he thought comets bring bad luck. Indrani Debi was worried that good people should not have to be associated with comets.
Comprehension Check (Page 80)
Question 1: How did Sir John get hold of James’ original manuscript?
Answer: James wrote a story which was later published in a paper called Nature. A man named Sir John got it from Mr. Taylor who was the editor of Nature and his friend.
Question 2: What is the important point the paper makes?
Answer: In this paper, it says that there is a chance Comet Dutta will collide with Earth soon.
Question 3: Why does Sir John say that James’ paper should not be published?
Answer: Sir John told James that his paper should not be published because he was afraid of the dreadful news of the comet hitting Earth.
Question 4: What do the two men finally decide to do?
Answer: Two men decide to organize a secret meeting of experts in order to figure out how to avoid the disaster.
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