A meteor is a very small, like a grain of rice, metallic or rocky body or some particles that is broken from any asteroid orbiting the sun. They are burned up when they enter into the earth’s surface at an approximate speed of 70kms/Sec. This burning up of a meteor gives the effect of “shooting stars”. The friction of meteoroids with the air molecules heats the meteoroids giving a grow effect. There are only certain meteoroids, which reach the earth’s atmosphere.
Types of Meteors
Shower Meteors– These meteors arise by mixing the dust that is liberated by comets when they make their way through the solar system. Then the dust so released by the comets spreads around the orbit of comet forming an elliptical lines of derbies, which passes about the sun and as well reaches the other planet’s orbit. When earth whiles during in early orbital round about the sun passes this line of debris, the meteor shower arises.
Sporadic Meteors-Sporadic meteors are commonly seen while gazing the sky at night and arise because of random dust particles of solar system around the orbit of the sun.
Meteors burn up in seconds, at a height of about 80kms in the ionosphere.
Meteorites and meteors are different
A meteor, if makes its way through the burning passage of the atmosphere, to reach the earth’s surface, which is very rare, it is called meteorite.
What are meteors showers?
When a series of meteors seem to radiate from a single point in sky because of the earth passing through them at the given position in its orbit, it is called as meteor shower. A shower is shown in the sky when a number of meteorites strike the earth’s surface together. In meteor shower the glow of the number of meteors burning together may be at different places in the sky,but the tails of all can be spotted at the same point in the sky this point is well called as “Radiant”. The meteor shower particles travel in parallel paths in sky at the same speed.
The most famous and common observed meteor showers are–
Quadrantids- It generally occurs between the last week of December last week till January 12th and can be viewed best from the Northern hemisphere.
Lyrids-It occurs usually between 16th April to 26th April each year.
Aquarids- It is best viewed between the last of April to mid May each year.
Perseids-It can be best viewed between 11th August to 13th August every year.
How to observe meteor showers:
A meteor shower can be observed with naked eyes. In order to observe a meteor shower, the first thing one has to do is to keep in the mind the nearby time of the meteor shower. There are various ways like use of radio sets, for the observation of meteor shower, although they are not needed as it can be viewed through naked eyes. For a meteor shower observation, a place needs to be identified where the entire sky can clearly be seen. A dark place away from lights is the best suitable location. After this, one needs to lie on the back looking up in the sky. Generally, meteors can be seen more towards the midnight to the dawn before sunrise because during this time we are towards that side of the earth, which rotates around the dust line. Meteors are best observed on moonless nights.
A meteor shower is being watched from over thousands of years and is a fun, exciting and easiest form of astronomical sciences. One can have an easy watch of the meteor with the naked eyes only by keeping in view the few above stated basic points for meteor observation. A meteor shower observation is possible and easy as its dates are predictable.