There are many sights seen in the night sky; some are steady and reliable, some are strange and fleeting. One of these are meteors. Often referred to as shooting stars, they are small, rocky objects caught in Earth’s gravity that plunge through the atmosphere as fiery streaks.
Meteors are what we see flying through the atmosphere. In space they are called meteoroids and they are called meteorites after they fall to Earth. Most are faint and often hard to see in our light-polluted skies and are the size of a grain of sand. Large ones are called fireballs or bolides.
Find a dark place, let your eyes adjust to the dark and watch an area of the sky. You will be rewarded with between two and 10 meteors per hour, even when there are no meteor showers active.
Join us at the Insperity Observatory on the first Friday each month for public night: humbleisd.net/observatory.