NEW ZEALAND TARANAKI

Catching Meteors...

Riddle: When is a star not a star? When it's a shooting star!


What are Meteors?

Rocks from space can fall through our sky toward the ground with a fiery glow. We sometimes call these bright objects "shooting stars". Of ocurse they are not stars but meteors.

Tiny meteors from space, usually dust from the tails of comets, come into the atmosphere. These micro-meteors are so small and light that they do not always burn up as they fall to Earth, they stay trapped in air currents high in the atmosphere until washed down to the ground in rain drops.

If you want to impress your teacher, take to class some "shooting-star dust" that is out of this world!

Try this:

  1. Collect a bucket of rainwater within a 2 week span of the dates below.
  2. Filter the water (coffee filters will do) and leave to dry.
  3. Use a magnet to pick up any iron containing material. Micro-meteors usually contain iron so you can seperate them from carbon or soot, etc. that may be part of our normal air pollution.

Meteor showers:

Shower

Best viewing date

Hourly rate

Quadrantids

January 3

40

Lyrids

April 21

15

Aquarids

May 4

20

Aquarids

July 28

20

Perseids

August 11

50

Orionids

October 21

25

Taurids

November 4

15

Leonids

November 16

15

Geminids

December 13

50

Ursids

December 22

15

 


Ask the experts for more information while visiting the New Plymouth observatory. The members of the Astronomical Society hold open nights every Tuesday night between

  • 8pm till 10pm in the Summer

  • 7:30pm till 9pm in the Winter

FIND OUT MORE:-

  1. Try to find out what stars are made of and how they are different from meteors.
  2. Learn about building a model solar system
  3. The interactive pages...arrange the planets of our solar system
  4. The interactive pages...uncover the hidden secrets of each planet
  5. Where do meteors come from in space?
  6. What is the difference between meteors, asteroids and comets?
  7. What is the link between rocks from space and what is supposed to have killed off the dinosaurs?

RETURN TO FUN! Science Activities and Technology Projects

 

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