Sunday, August 11, 2013

Objects That Fly Through Space

I cannot seem to remember the difference between asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids.
No matter how much we read and study, i always have to look it up again.

I did end up setting the alarm for 2 A.M. for the meteor shower.  Despite our careful efforts not to make the motion light go off, someone wasn't in a straight line.  We had to wait 15 minutes for the light to go back off and then another 20 to let our eyes adjust.  (Why doesn't it have a switch anywhere?)
So we cuddled up on the wet trampoline and some people fussed.  But we all saw several shooting stars and i am thankful that i got up when the jarring noise woke me.  
It is amazing how much you can see in the middle of the city.  I think it is because there are so many vacant houses nearby.  Looking on the bright side.

So here is a chart from NASA.

Summary Table

AsteroidA relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun.
CometA relatively small, at times active, object whose ices can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas.
MeteoroidA small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun.
MeteorThe light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes; a shooting star.
MeteoriteA meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface.

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