Spot on Science: Meteor Streaks Across Night Sky

IT’S TRUE THAT SPACE ROCKS – BUT SPACE IS ALSO JUST PLAIN FULL OF ROCKS. IN THE VAST REACHES OF SPACE, ROCKS ARE BUMPING AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE -- IN FACT, ONE OF THOSE ROCKS RECENTLY PAID US A VISIT!

A SHOOTING STAR STREAKED ACROSS THE MIDWESTERN SKY EARLY LAST WEEK – AND SIGHTINGS OF THE PHENOMENON WERE REPORTED FROM KENTUCKY TO KANSAS TO CANADA!
THIS VIDEO IS FROM A POLICE DASHCAM IN ILLINOIS. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN METEOR SOCIETY, WHICH TRACKS THESE EVENTS, SOME PEOPLE EVEN REPORTED HEARING IT AS IT STREAKED BY.

BUT THIS “SHOOTING STAR” ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK. ALTHOUGH KIND OF IT LOOKS LIKE A STAR THAT FELL FROM THE SKY, IT’S ACTUALLY A METEOR. A METEOR IS A SPACE ROCK THAT HAS ENTERED EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE. WHEN METEORS CRASH DOWN TO EARTH, THEY TRAVEL AT AMAZINGLY FAST SPEEDS – OFTEN FASTER THAN THE FASTEST CAR ON THE HIGHWAY!
BECAUSE IT’S TRAVELING SO FAST THE AIR AROUND IT HEATS UP AND GLOWS, LIKE A BRILLIANT FIREWORK! BUT DON’T WORRY -- MOST METEORS BURN UP BEFORE THEY HIT EARTH. IN FACT, SCIENTISTS THINK UP TO 10,000 TONS OF METEORS FALL ON THE EARTH EACH DAY, BUT MOST ARE NO BIGGER THAN A SPECK OF DUST.

BUT THIS SPACE ROCK THAT WENT VIRAL LAST WEEK MIGHT HAVE HIT EARTH RELATIVELY INTACT! AFTER SEEING SECURITY FOOTAGE OF THE METEOR, A
WISCONSIN COUPLE SEARCHED THEIR PROPERTY AND FOUND A PIECE OF ROCK THAT THEY SENT TO A LOCAL COLLEGE FOR TESTING.

IF THE TESTS PROVE THIS IS IN FACT A PIECE OF LAST WEEK’S GLOWING SPACE ROCK, IT WON’T BE CALLED A METEOR ANYMORE– IT’LL BE A METEORITE! A METEORITE IS WHAT SCIENTISTS CALL A METEOR THAT MADE IT TO THE GROUND WITHOUT BURNING UP! HUMM THEN I WONDER WHAT A METEOR WRONG IS?


Instructional Links


Interactive Map: Carto, Map of Meteor Strikes | Gives links to meteor data of the Meteoritical Society.

Video: STEM in 30. Classroom Meteorite Observations | Includes teaching materials.

Online Quiz: National Geographic Kids, Quiz Whiz, Comets and Meteors

Website Article: European Space Agency, ESAKids, Our Universe, Comets and Meteors

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.