Monday, 30 June 2014

The Universe: Official meteor watch day!

Today is official meteor watch day... although despite creating the day, I think the weather will be the biggest factor on whether it's successful or not (also depending on where you happen to live!) That being said, it's also a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about our surroundings, space and the universe...

A meteor, or shooting star, is the visible streak of light from a heated and glowing meteoroid falling through the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of over 20 km/s, so pretty fast! Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids and other space dust enter the Earth's atmosphere each year, and when they reach the ground they become known as meteorites...which means if we're on the lookout often enough there must be plenty of shooting stars to be seen! 

An interesting way of getting an idea of where we stand in relation to the universe is through this interactive scale of the universe. It allows you to zoom in and out to find where and how we as humans fit into the Universe. Follow the link above and have a play, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for some shooting stars on the next clear night!

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