A Shooting Star A shooting star has been seen as something to wish on, and something that will bring people luck. But little do most know a shooting star is not a star at all. A shooting “star” is actually another name for a meteoroid that burns up as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. Most shooting stars that we can see with our eyes are meteoroids. Meteoroids can be as small as sand and as large as a giant boulder.
If the meteoroid is smaller than a grain of sand, then astronomers consider it “star dust”, but if it is as large as a boulder it is considered an asteroid. The reason why meteoroids burn so brightly is because when they decide to cut through the atmosphere they leave a bright path of light behind them. This is what makes them resemble a shooting star flying through the sky. The large bright path is caused by ram pressure. Ram pressure is exerted on a body when is moving through a fluid medium.
When the meteorite is larger it is classified as a fireball because the light burns brighter. Because of such a bright light, the streak can last for over two minutes in the sky, which is rare due to the climate and atmosphere. Thousands of shooting stars fall from the sky at night, however we do not always see them because they do not all burn the same brightness. The first shooting star to be seen was not recorded because shooting stars have been falling from the sky since earth was created.
Scientists today track shooting stars by looking at certain characteristics. When two shooting stars fall from the same place and at the same time, scientists test them to see the similarities between them. This helps them locate where exactly they came from and how far they have traveled. In recent years sciences have focused on looking at shooting stars that have fallen from the planet Mars. NASA conducted an experiment after snapping a picture of a fiery red flame falling from the planet mars.
This shooting star came from a mediator shower in the middle of the night. By tracking this mediator scientists can get a glimpse into the past when planets formed and they can conduct an idea on how to avoid a future asteroid destruction. Last October, astronomers tracked a small non-threatening asteroid heading toward Earth before it became a “shooting star,” something they had not done before, however it blew up in the sky and scientists thought there would be no space rocks left to examine for the experiment.
However, they were proved wrong when a massive eight ounce rock was found in the Sudan desert. By doing research on the special shooting star scientists were able to discover that the mediator had burned in the atmosphere 23 miles above the ground, and was likely a leftover from when chunks of rock tried and failed to become a planet, about 4. 5 billion years ago. By doing hands on research with shooting stars, scientists are able to track our planets past, and how exactly they cohabitate with our planet Earth.