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What causes meteor showers

25 May 2014, 00:00 UTC
What causes meteor showers
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When dust particles and space rocks collide with Earth's atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour, they heat up. Military satellites designed to detect heat trails from missiles also see these bits of stuff from space traveling through our atmosphere. If the meteors are hot enough, they glow and we can see them with our own eyes. We call them meteors. Continue reading →

¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending May 31, 2014
When dust particles and space rocks collide with Earth’s atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour, they heat up. Military satellites designed to detect heat trails from missiles also see these bits of stuff from space traveling through our atmosphere. If the meteors are hot enough, they glow and we can see them with our own eyes. We call them meteors.
Meteors are quite often yellow or white, but they can also be green, red, or blue. It depends what the dust is made of and how hot it glows.
Much of the stuff that strikes the atmosphere is about as big as a grain of sand. Astronomers frequently refer to all of it as dust, although some of it is too big to be ...

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