Streaks of light seen in the night sky are meteors.
- Meteors – they are made when dust or rocks crash into Earth’s atmosphere and burn up leaving a flaming trail.
(Photo by Jack Fusco)
- meteoroids are billions of tiny rocks that hurtle around the Solar System – most of them are no bigger than a pea.
- most meteoroids are very small and burn up when they enter the earth’s atmosphere.
Photo from International Space Station (ISS)
- shooting stars – may look like stars shooting across the night sky – but they are actually meteors.
- meteors showers – often bursts into dozens of shooting stars that happens as earth hit dust left over by a comet passed.
Earth hit dust left over by a comet passed.
- although meteors are not stars – meteors showers are named after the constellations they seem to come from.
- the heaviest showers are;
the Quadrantids (3rd-4th January),
the Perseids (11th/12th August),
the Leonids (17th/18th November) and
the Geminids (13th December).
- a large meteorite could hit the Earth at any time.
- meteorites are bigger space rocks that are able to penetrate right through the earth’s atmosphere and reach to land the ground or damage objects such as a car.
Did you know?
- the impact of a large meteorite may have chilled the earth to wipe out the dinosaurs.