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Meteor shower

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Meteor- (shooting star)- bright trail of light created by small solid particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere & burning up

Meteor- (shooting star)- bright trail of light created by small solid particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere & burning up

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  • 1. Meteors & Meteor ShowersMeteors & Meteor Showers
  • 2. The Differences…The Differences…  Meteoroid, Meteorite, Meteor???Meteoroid, Meteorite, Meteor???  MeteoroidMeteoroid- small, solid body moving within- small, solid body moving within the solar system.the solar system.  MeteoriteMeteorite- solid remains of a meteor that- solid remains of a meteor that falls to the Earth.falls to the Earth.  MeteorMeteor-- (shooting star)- bright trail of light(shooting star)- bright trail of light created by small solid particles enteringcreated by small solid particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere & burning upthe Earth’s atmosphere & burning up
  • 3. Meteor FactsMeteor Facts  Meteors (meteoroids) are the debris associated with comets orMeteors (meteoroids) are the debris associated with comets or asteroidsasteroids  When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere & becomes aWhen a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere & becomes a meteor, it is traveling at 60-70 km per second!meteor, it is traveling at 60-70 km per second!  On a given night (with favorable conditions), you can see 1 meteorOn a given night (with favorable conditions), you can see 1 meteor every 15 minutesevery 15 minutes  The typical size of a meteor that produces a visible streak of lightThe typical size of a meteor that produces a visible streak of light ranges from about the size of a grain of sand to the size of a smallranges from about the size of a grain of sand to the size of a small pebble! (average weight is only around 1 gram!)pebble! (average weight is only around 1 gram!)  FireballsFireballs (large, brilliant meteors) are periodically seen (these may(large, brilliant meteors) are periodically seen (these may weigh up to several kilograms or more).weigh up to several kilograms or more). BolidesBolides are fireballs thatare fireballs that explode with a thunderous sound.explode with a thunderous sound.  See for yourself:See for yourself:  http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01/varros1_movie.ghttp://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01/varros1_movie.g (Fireball)(Fireball)  http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/Ponder1.http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/Ponder1. (Bolide)(Bolide)
  • 4. Why do meteors have a streak ofWhy do meteors have a streak of light??light??  As they travel through our atmosphere,As they travel through our atmosphere, meteors collide with air molecules thatmeteors collide with air molecules that knock away materials and strip electronsknock away materials and strip electrons from the meteor…from the meteor…  When the stripped atoms recaptureWhen the stripped atoms recapture electrons, light is emitted…electrons, light is emitted…  The color of the light depends on theThe color of the light depends on the temperature and the material beingtemperature and the material being “excited.”“excited.”
  • 5. Are all meteors the same color??Are all meteors the same color??  The material or element that makes up aThe material or element that makes up a meteor is the main factor that determinesmeteor is the main factor that determines the color of its glowing trail…the color of its glowing trail… - Sodium = orange-yellow- Sodium = orange-yellow - Iron = yellow- Iron = yellow - Magnesium = blue-green- Magnesium = blue-green - Calcium = violet- Calcium = violet - Silicon = red- Silicon = red
  • 6. Sporadic MeteorsSporadic Meteors  These are the meteors that can be seenThese are the meteors that can be seen on any given nighton any given night  They are not associated with anyThey are not associated with any particular meteor showerparticular meteor shower  They come from random directions in theThey come from random directions in the skysky
  • 7. Meteor ShowersMeteor Showers  Heavy displays of meteors that recur from yearHeavy displays of meteors that recur from year to yearto year  Caused by small fragments of comet debrisCaused by small fragments of comet debris entering the earth’s atmosphere at extremelyentering the earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds…when the Earth’s orbit & thehigh speeds…when the Earth’s orbit & the comet’s orbit intersect at some pointcomet’s orbit intersect at some point  ‘‘Shower meteors’ come from the same generalShower meteors’ come from the same general point in the sky…point in the sky…  TheThe radiantradiant of a shower is the point in the skyof a shower is the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to comefrom which the meteors appear to come
  • 8. Meteor Showers (cont.)Meteor Showers (cont.)  Meteor showers are usually named for theMeteor showers are usually named for the constellation in which their radiant lies atconstellation in which their radiant lies at the peak of the shower…the peak of the shower…  Ex.: Perseid shower = PerseusEx.: Perseid shower = Perseus  Ex.: Leonid shower = LeoEx.: Leonid shower = Leo  Ex.: Geminid shower = GeminiEx.: Geminid shower = Gemini
  • 9. Specific Meteor ShowersSpecific Meteor Showers  Meteor showers occur on a regular basis throughout the year, butMeteor showers occur on a regular basis throughout the year, but not all are visible in the northern latitudes & some are very weaknot all are visible in the northern latitudes & some are very weak and easily go unnoticed…and easily go unnoticed…  Some of the more impressive showers throughout a given year are:Some of the more impressive showers throughout a given year are: ShowerShower Avg. PeakAvg. Peak - Quadrantids – early January- Quadrantids – early January - Lyrids – mid April- Lyrids – mid April - Perseids – early/mid August- Perseids – early/mid August - Orionids – mid/late October- Orionids – mid/late October - Leonids – mid November- Leonids – mid November - Geminids – mid December- Geminids – mid December ** Historically, the Perseids in August & the Leonids in November** Historically, the Perseids in August & the Leonids in November have been the most impressive meteor showers -have been the most impressive meteor showers - http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/cordhttp://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/images/18nov01_page3/cord
  • 10. That’s All…That’s All…
  • 11. 3 Questions…3 Questions… 1. True/False: The material or element that makes up a1. True/False: The material or element that makes up a meteor is the main factor that determines the color ofmeteor is the main factor that determines the color of the glowing trail left behindthe glowing trail left behind TrueTrue 2. This major meteor shower has a peak time around2. This major meteor shower has a peak time around early/mid August:early/mid August: a. Geminidsa. Geminids b. Leonidsb. Leonids c. Orionidsc. Orionids d. Perseidsd. Perseids d. Perseidsd. Perseids 3. What is the point in the sky from which all of the meteors3. What is the point in the sky from which all of the meteors seem to come during a shower called?seem to come during a shower called? RadiantRadiant
  • 12. References…References…  http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/meteorhttp://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/meteor  http://www.sky-watch.com/meteor.htmlhttp://www.sky-watch.com/meteor.html  http://hometown.aol.com/theleonids/http://hometown.aol.com/theleonids/  http://www.geocities.com/~starwanderer/mhttp://www.geocities.com/~starwanderer/m eteor.htmeteor.htm  http://www.meteorobs.org/showers.htmlhttp://www.meteorobs.org/showers.html  http://www.amsmeteors.org/showers.htmlhttp://www.amsmeteors.org/showers.html
  • 13. This powerpoint was kindly donated to www.worldofteaching.com http://www.worldofteaching.com is home to over a thousand powerpoints submitted by teachers. This is a completely free site and requires no registration. Please visit and I hope it will help in your teaching.

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