Shooting Stars!

Contributor: Rebecca Highland. Lesson ID: 10340

Have you ever seen a shooting star? We don't mean a movie cowboy or soldier! Learn about meteors by watching videos of meteor showers, taking an online quiz, and stargazing with your very own eyes!

categories

Earth Science

subject
Science
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Have you ever seen a shooting star? We don't mean a movie cowboy or soldier! People like to make wishes on shooting stars, but do you know what a shooting star actually is? And how to see shooting stars for yourself?

Shooting stars are not actually stars at all!

Shooting stars are called meteors. Meteors are small chunks of rock and dust that have broken off from comets and asteroids.

Meteors burn up in a planet’s atmosphere. In space, they are called meteoroids.

Watch the following video to understand The difference between Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites:


A shooting star lasts for only a few seconds, and it has a tail of light following it. This is caused by friction with the air that creates heat and lights up a trail. Though they are only visible for a moment, shooting stars are a beautiful and common sight in our skies.

Every year, people look up to see an annual meteor shower light up the skies. This is called the August Perseid meteor shower. Here is a sped-up video of what that shower looks like (Meteor by Thomas O'Brien):

 

This shower takes place in the Northern Hemisphere of Earth every August. This meteor shower occurs as we pass by a comet; that is the source of most meteors. This comet, called Swift-Tuttle, sheds dust and debris as it orbits, and the dust burns up in our atmosphere, creating the beautiful annual lightshow.

To learn a lot more about shooting stars and meteor showers, like what they are, where they are, and when they are, read the article and watch the videos at Meteor Showers and Shooting Stars: Formation, Facts and Discovery from Space.com.

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