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Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites are different forms of space rocks.

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Mesosphere Magic

Mesosphere Magic

Credit: John Loo
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8510225@N07/9498437262
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The Perseid meteor shower makes a tremendous display in mid-August each year. Who would think that watching dust and rocks hit the mesosphere could be so magical. The aurora also comes from the mesosphere.

Amazing But True!

Credit: Mike Lewinski
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ikewinski/9512425132/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Perseid Meteor [Figure2]

  • Meteors frequently burn up in the mesosphere. One is visible every few hours.
  • The Perseid meteor shower produces the most fireballs of any meteor shower.
  • Fireballs are very bright meteors, as bright as a bright planet.
  • The Perseids happens every year in mid-August.

Show What You Know

With the links below, learn more about the Perseids. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why does a comet produce a trail of dust and gas?
  2. What is the cause of a meteor shower?
  3. Why do meteors burn in the mesosphere?
  4. Why is the Perseid meteor shower the one with the most fireballs?
  5. If you wanted to view the most fireballs during the Perseid meteor shower, where would you go and when would you look?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: John Loo; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8510225@N07/9498437262; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Mike Lewinski; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ikewinski/9512425132/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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