We see them in the sky. Possibly we make a wish when we get to see one of them. But Do you know what shooting stars really are? ANDThey are closely associated with our most mystical culture because, since always, “magical” and “divine” properties have been attributed to it, but the reality is very different. In this OneHowTo article we are going to unravel the universe and, for this, we are going to explain to you what is a shooting star so you know what you are seeing when you look up at the sky and come across such a spectacle. Attention!
What are shooting stars
To know what are shooting stars we must understand, first, that what we call “stars”, in reality, they are meteors. That is, they are small cosmic particles (between 1 millimeter to a few centimeters, never too many) that enter our atmosphere at a very high speed and, due to the contrast, the air around these particles ionize and, therefore, we can see that luminous tail so characteristic of shooting stars.
Depending on its size, each shooting star can be very different from the other and give off more or less light, go faster or slower, and so on. Although, as a general rule, they tend to be particles that travel very fast and, therefore, for us it gives us the feeling that it is “fleeting” but it does not mean that, because we do not see it, it no longer exists: on the contrary. It travels so fast that it does not allow us to capture its route and, therefore, for us it is as if it has disappeared.
And if you have ever thought that the star had a different hue, for example, more reddish, bluish, or even greenish It is because the very composition of this meteor has elements that can alter its natural color.
Where do the shooting stars come from
To find the origin of these particles we have to refer to the comets since these formations that we find in the universe tend to lose material throughout their life and, from these detachments, it is from where the shooting stars come. Thus, depending on the quality of each comet and its mass, it may shed more or less large pieces and, then, is when we talk about shooting stars or fireballs.
A fireball is a much brighter meteor than the common shooting star and leave a trail in our sky for much longer. Such is its brightness that, even with the sky covered with clouds, they can be seen; They are also usually visible when it is daytime.
When the particle lost by the comet is very large, it is when we talk about meteorites. Normally, these tend to burn when they come into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere and lose their mass. Our planet is constantly receiving meteorites that are microscopic in size but also larger ones.
Shooting stars in our culture
Now that we know what is a shooting star we are going to relate it to our culture because, since ancient times, there has been research on spatial elements and their link with humanity. Babylonians They were the first to observe meteor showers, something we know from annotated tablets dating from 747 BC.
Chinese culture From 687, during the Chou dynasty, he also insisted on observing the behavior of the stars and gave testimony of the very special event of the “meteor showers”.
Until late twentieth astronomers did not have the necessary material to be able to predict when this space phenomenon would take place. The model that was tested in the Leonids in 1999 managed to hit with unparalleled precision the exact time when this phenomenon would take place in our atmosphere.
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