What is shooting star?

Meteoroids, the shooting stars

If you ever wished on a shooting star, you were really wishing on a burning rock. Sometimes a big lump of rock and metal called a meteoroid zooms through the blackness of space. For billions of years, this meteoroid has been zipping around and around the sun. But now it is heading straight for Earth.

The lump of rock enters Earth’s atmosphere. It is travelling so fast that Earth’s air rubs hard against it. This makes the meteoroid very hot.

Bits of the rock burn up, leaving a trail of glowing gas. Seen from Earth, it looks like a bright streak flashing across the sky. Some people call the streak a “shooting star” or a “falling star”.

As many as 200 million meteoroids come into Earth’s atmosphere every day! Most of them are small and burn up completely. But if a meteoroid is big enough, it may not burn up before it hits the ground. Instead, it may come smashing to Earth and make a crater – a big hole in the ground.

Picture Credit : Google

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