Unformatted text preview: Meteors & Meteor Showers Meteors The Differences… The Meteoroid, Meteorite, Meteor??? Meteoroid- small, solid body moving within small, the solar system. the Meteorite- solid remains of a meteor that solid falls to the Earth. falls Meteor- (shooting star)- bright trail of light created by small solid particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere & burning up the Meteor Facts Meteor Meteors (meteoroids) are the debris associated with comets or Meteors asteroids asteroids When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere & becomes a When meteor, it is traveling at 60-70 km per second! meteor, On a given night (with favorable conditions), you can see 1 meteor On every 15 minutes every The typical size of a meteor that produces a visible streak of light The ranges from about the size of a grain of sand to the size of a small pebble! (average weight is only around 1 gram!) pebble! 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. explode See for yourself: See http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01/varros1_movie.g (Fireball) http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/Ponder1. (Bolide) Why do meteors have a streak of light?? light?? As As they travel through our atmosphere, meteors collide with air molecules that knock away materials and strip electrons from the meteor… from When the stripped atoms recapture When electrons, light is emitted… electrons, The color of the light depends on the The temperature and the material being “excited.” “excited.” Are all meteors the same color?? Are The The material or element that makes up a meteor is the main factor that determines the color of its glowing trail… the - Sodium = orange-yellow - Iron = yellow - Magnesium = blue-green - Calcium = violet - Silicon = red Sporadic Meteors Sporadic These These are the meteors that can be seen on any given night on are not associated with any particular meteor shower particular come from random directions in the They They They They sky sky Meteor Showers Meteor Heavy Heavy to year to Caused by small fragments of comet debris Caused entering the earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds…when the Earth’s orbit & the comet’s orbit intersect at some point comet’s ‘Shower meteors’ come from the same general Shower point in the sky… point The radiant of a shower is the point in the sky The radiant from which the meteors appear to come from displays of meteors that recur from year Meteor Showers (cont.) Meteor Meteor Meteor showers are usually named for the constellation in which their radiant lies at the peak of the shower… the Ex.: Perseid shower = Perseus Ex.: Leonid shower = Leo Ex.: Geminid shower = Gemini Specific Meteor Showers Specific Meteor showers occur on a regular basis throughout the year, but Meteor not all are visible in the northern latitudes & some are very weak and easily go unnoticed… and Some of the more impressive showers throughout a given year are: Shower Avg. Peak Shower Avg. - 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/cordi http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/cord That’s All… That’s 3 Questions… Questions…
1. True/False: The material or element that makes up a 1. meteor is the main factor that determines the color of the glowing trail left behind the True 2. This major meteor shower has a peak time around early/ mid August: a. Geminids b. Leonids c. Orionids d. Perseids d. Perseids 3. What is the point in the sky from which all of the meteors 3. seem to come during a shower called? seem Radiant ...
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- Spring '07
- Solar System, Meteor shower, Meteor Showers Meteor