Shooting stars are often confused with stars. A shooting star is not actually a star, nor does it shoot. However, it is a wrong notion that has penetrated the mindset of people. Shooting stars are streaks of light, visible to the naked eye, which actually represent the path of a meteoroid or meteor, when it enters the earth’s surface. Officially known as a meteor, shooting star is actually a chunk of extra terrestrial rock that is pulled into the Earth’s atmosphere by gravity. Though the universe looks empty, it has particles of dust and rocks in the outer space. When these tiny fragments of rock fall through earth’s outer layer of air, they experience an upsurge of frictional heat, which leads to their fall and eventual burning up. We are so accustomed to viewing stars and planets in the sky that when a fleet of light descends to the ground, it seems to us as if a star is falling from the sky. It is easy to see how the shooting star earned its nickname. What we’re not so accustomed to is observing one of these points of light falling out of place or suddenly burning out. When we see a meteor heat up and streak across the sky, it often looks like a real star dropping out of the sky. A particularly large meteor may continue to glow for several seconds, appearing to shoot across the sky under its own power. Hence, the idea of a shooting star has become a popular shorthand to describe the phenomenon.
A shooting star can be seen with the naked eye, although it requires constant scanning of the night sky and a little luck. It can appear suddenly and burn out quickly. Talking about meteorite showers, when a comet comes close to a star, the heat of the star causes a fleet of space debris. If earth passes through one of these trails, the result is a meteor shower or a meteor storm. At this time of the year, a viewer can see dozens or even hundreds of meteors, or shooting stars, in a short span of time. In the following lines, we have provided information about what causes shooting stars and the meteor showers that are visible throughout the year. Read on and increase your knowledge.
What Causes Shooting Stars
Meteors are chunks of outer space, no bigger than particles of dust or sand. As these particles enter the outer layer of air on earth, they experience a build-up of frictional heat. This heat makes the particles glow and they are assumed to be falling stars, giving them the name of ‘shooting stars’. A particularly large meteor may continue to glow for several seconds, appearing to shoot across the sky under its own power. The general population remains ignorant of the actual phenomenon and thinks of a shooting star as a star which has fallen to the ground, rather than a meteorite.
Annual Meteor Showers
When They Occur
April Lyrids->pril 19-24
Eta Aquarids->ay 1-8
Delta Aquarids->uly 15- August 15
Perseids->July 25 – August 18
Taurids->tober 20-November 30