Meteor shower

Astronomers say that early tomorrow morning is a good time to look for a meteor shower of dust in the sky. It could look like shooting stars but it is dust and debris hitting the earth’s atmosphere. The dust and debris come from a comet or asteroid.

This happens every year at this time of year but last year was a full moon so the sky was not dark enough. This year it’s a new moon. If it’s a clear sky – no cloud – we might see a streak of yellow light across the sky at 35km per hour. It will be about 100km above the earth. There could be one every minute between 2am and sunrise.

Tomorrow morning is the best time but the next four or five days it might be possible to see something. Look to the north in the Gemini constellation. We are fortunate in New Zealand that this is summer time so it is not so cold at night.

Vocabulary

• astronomers – scientists who study the sky
• meteor – bright object that enters the earth’s atmosphere – often called a shooting star
• debris (French word. Do not pronounce the final ‘s’) – rubbish e.g. pieces of rock
• comet – object in space that travels around the sun. It has a long tail.
• asteroid – small object in space that travels around the sun. Sometimes called a minor planet
• streak – a flash of light
• constellation – group of stars
• fortunate – lucky






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