meteor shower

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  • Meteors & Meteor Showers

  • The DifferencesMeteoroid, Meteorite, Meteor???Meteoroid- small, solid body moving within the solar system.Meteorite- solid remains of a meteor that falls to the Earth.Meteor- (shooting star)- bright trail of light created by small solid particles entering the Earths atmosphere & burning up

  • Meteor FactsMeteors (meteoroids) are the debris associated with comets or asteroidsWhen a meteoroid enters the Earths atmosphere & becomes a meteor, it is traveling at 60-70 km per second!On a given night (with favorable conditions), you can see 1 meteor every 15 minutesThe typical size of a meteor that produces a visible streak of light ranges from about the size of a grain of sand to the size of a small pebble! (average weight is only around 1 gram!)Fireballs (large, brilliant meteors) are periodically seen (these may weigh up to several kilograms or more). Bolides are fireballs that explode with a thunderous sound.See for yourself: http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01/varros1_movie.gif (Fireball)http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/Ponder1.MPG (Bolide)

  • Why do meteors have a streak of light??As they travel through our atmosphere, meteors collide with air molecules that knock away materials and strip electrons from the meteorWhen the stripped atoms recapture electrons, light is emittedThe color of the light depends on the temperature and the material being excited.

  • Are all meteors the same color??The material or element that makes up a meteor is the main factor that determines the color of its glowing trail- Sodium = orange-yellow- Iron = yellow- Magnesium = blue-green- Calcium = violet- Silicon = red

  • Sporadic MeteorsThese are the meteors that can be seen on any given night

    They are not associated with any particular meteor shower

    They come from random directions in the sky

  • Meteor ShowersHeavy displays of meteors that recur from year to yearCaused by small fragments of comet debris entering the earths atmosphere at extremely high speedswhen the Earths orbit & the comets orbit intersect at some pointShower meteors come from the same general point in the skyThe radiant of a shower is the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to come

  • Meteor Showers (cont.)Meteor showers are usually named for the constellation in which their radiant lies at the peak of the shower

    Ex.: Perseid shower = PerseusEx.: Leonid shower = LeoEx.: Geminid shower = Gemini

  • Specific Meteor ShowersMeteor showers occur on a regular basis throughout the year, but not all are visible in the northern latitudes & some are very weak and easily go unnoticedSome of the more impressive showers throughout a given year are: Shower Avg. Peak- Quadrantids early January- Lyrids mid April- Perseids early/mid August- Orionids mid/late October- Leonids mid November- Geminids mid December** Historically, the Perseids in August & the Leonids in November have been the most impressive meteor showers - http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/cordiale1.mov

  • Thats All

  • 3 Questions1. True/False: The material or element that makes up a meteor is the main factor that determines the color of the glowing trail left behindTrue2. This major meteor shower has a peak time around early/mid August:a. Geminidsb. Leonidsc. Orionidsd. Perseidsd. Perseids3. What is the point in the sky from which all of the meteors seem to come during a shower called?Radiant

  • Referenceshttp://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/meteors/showers.htmlhttp://www.sky-watch.com/meteor.htmlhttp://hometown.aol.com/theleonids/http://www.geocities.com/~starwanderer/meteor.htmhttp://www.meteorobs.org/showers.htmlhttp://www.amsmeteors.org/showers.html

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