A shooting star is really a meteoroid, a fragment of an asteroid or a comet, made up of iron, silicates or a mixture of both. When the meteoroid is caught in the earth’s gravitational pull, it is drawn through the earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed. Speed so high, that the friction with the air heats up the dust particle and thereby makes it shine. And in that glow, it sails across the sky. It finally burns out before reaching the ground and that is what we see as shooting stars.
Now some meteoroids behave differently when they reach earth’s atmosphere. A large one is called a Fireball and when it enters the atmosphere, it will have a big bright head and tail. Similarly, a Bolide will explode in the air, while still others will come down in shower, meteor shower to be precise. No matter how they enter the atmosphere, most small meteoroids disintegrate and fall to earth as dust.
Meteor showers are just a lot of shooting stars that happen all at once. They are really specks of dust, most of them not much bigger than a grain of sand. At times the earth passes through a whole cloud of dust and that’s when we see meteor showers. There’s tons of debris floating around in our solar system, which means that dozens of meteors reach the earth every hour. The earth sometimes passes through traits of dust left behind by comets that break up as they pass close to the sun or pieces of asteroids. As the earth moves through the clouds of tiny debris, it creates a meteor shower.
Myths about Shooting Star
Since shooting stars are so sudden and short lived, they inspire many myths about wishing and omens. Traditionally, Europeans saw shooting stars as omens of dangerous times. Current myths about shooting stars revolve around making a wish when one is seen.
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Check your knowledge
A shooting star is really a meteoroid, a fragment of an asteroid or a comet, made up of iron, silicates or a mixture of both.
The friction with the air heats up the dust particle and thereby makes it shine.
Meteor showers are just a lot of shooting stars that happen all at once.