The sight of s shooting star fills most people with a sense of awe and beauty. It shoots across the sky leaving a trail of light behind and making us wonder where it fell. Most of us know that a star is a ball of gas that is millions or billions of light years away from the earth, but we are often unsure what causes a shooting star to be seen. If you have ever asked yourself the question, what is a shooting star then this article is for you.
The Shooting Star
What we call a shooting star does not actually have anything to do with stars. It has been named this simply because it looks like a star traveling across the sky. A shooting star is actually small meteoroids burning up as they enter the earth’s upper atmosphere. A meteoroid is any space matter as small as a grain of sand or as large as a boulder. Any smaller and they are classified as interstellar dust, any larger and they are known as asteroids. When the meteoroid strikes the earth atmosphere it leaves a bright trail behind causing the shooting star effect. At certain times of the year meteor showers can be seen. This is when the earth passes through the tail of a comet that is orbiting the sun. Some of these meteor showers will allow you to see a shooting star every minute.
There is no doubt that this natural phenomenon is awesome and beautiful. It is amazing to watch the “star” streak through the sky and disappear. Just remember the next time you see and shooting star you are actually seeing a meteoroid entering the earth atmosphere!