Science

What’s the science behind shooting stars?

It is so fascinating to observe shooting stars in the night sky. Some people also believe it lucky.

Shooting stars arealso known as “meteor showers”.The term ‘shooting star’ is misleading as there is no star related to this event. From “Rahul” and “Anjali” (reference: Bollywood movie “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”) looking at shooting stars and wishing for their lives, people have been fascinated a lot about these events. Here are some interesting facts about “shooting stars.

What are shooting stars?

Shooting stars are formeddue to the entrance of dust from other space objects likecometsand asteroids into the atmosphere of Earth. Shooting stars are formed when they enter the atmosphere surrounding the earth very fast. While entering, a small cloud of dust rub together along the air particles of the Earth. During this process, frictional force heats the cloud of dust, burning the meteor and forming the visible form of shooting stars. So, a shooting star is basically a burningmeteor. “Shooting stars” can be ofvarious colors due to the minerals present in the rock.

Scientists can predict their presence:

Astronomers can observe whethera stream of dust debriswill enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They can even predict the occurrence of an asteroid or comet. The burning up of meteors mayoccur on a huge scale, indicating thatpeople on Earth can witness a showerof meteors. As the amount of dust increases, the meteor shower becomes more intense.

How far away are shooting stars located?

People can see a shooting star when it is between 75 – 120 kilometers away from the Earth. The rock elements are usually meteors (indicating that they have “burned up”) by the time they are between 50 – 95 kilometers from the Earth. If the rock elementis not fully burned up, then it is called a “meteorite” afterlanding on the surface of the Earth. On a rare occasion, rock elements entering the Earth’s atmosphere will generallytransform into shooting stars before landing on the Earth.

Is it common to see shooting stars?

You will be surprised to know that “Shooting stars” are really very common. Rocks enter the Earth’s atmosphere from space regularly. Approximately, 1 million shooting stars occur each day. You can observe shooting stars if the sky is very clear. Scientists suggest observing at one point continuously for 20 minutes. According to the calculations, there are at least 2 “shooting stars” every hour. The best time to observe is the “meteor shower” event. You will observe enormous numbers of shooting stars at a time during this event. “Shooting stars” happen in day time also, but due to the cloud cover and unclear sky condition, you may not observe it properly.

Aren’t those facts about shooting stars interesting?

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