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METEORS

A meteor, or shooting star, is a streak of light in the sky caused by a piece of dust or rock from space burning up in Earth’s atmosphere. Space rocks that hit Earth are called METEORITES.

WHAT IS A METEOR SHOWER?

In a meteor shower, we see more meteors than usual coming from one patch of sky. Most showers take place on the same date every year—the Orionids, for example, are in October, when Earth passes through the dusty trail of Halley’s Comet.

SHOOTING STARS

During a meteor shower, you might spot dozens of meteors. They all seem to come from the same spot in the sky, which is called the radiant.

METEORITES

A meteorite is a lump of space rock or metal, usually from an asteroid, that hits the surface of Earth, often leaving a crater.

WHAT ARE METEORITES MADE OF?

Most of the 3,000 meteorites that hit Earth each year are lumps of stone. The rest are mainly metal, made of iron-nickel and small amounts of other minerals.

FIND OUT MORE

Comets
Rocks

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