What are shooting stars and how are they formed?

  • What are shooting stars? How are they formed and how often do they occur during the night?

    Also, why are there more shooting stars on some nights than on others?

    There's a Re-open vote on this question but no explanation why. I don't think the answers here are particularly good, and they're certainly well short of being *authoritative*, so I see no reason to re-open.

    @Chappo "I don't think the answers here are particularly good". ??? Isn't that the whole point of re-opening a question? How else will we get better answers?

    Better answers are already provided at the linked question, so it's hard to imaging how reopening this one can improve our site. Note that "Undo" has the accepted answer here yet *they themselves* voted for the question to be closed as a duplicate.

    Good point, fixed.

    I didn't mean to be negative. Good on you for looking to improve the site - all power to you!

  • A shooting star is a rock from space that is entering the atmosphere at such a great speed that the air superheats it to a bright white-hot glow.

    When one of these rocks is floating around in space, it's called a meteoroid (-oid sounds like some sort of space-y future-y thing: think asteroid, android, humanoid).

    When it's found in the ground after it's already landed, it's called a meteorite (-ite sounds like a mineral-y rock-type thing you find in the ground: think pyrite, graphite, kryptonite).

    For the brief period of time between when they are meteoroids and meteorites, they are simply called meteors, a.k.a. shooting stars. (Think: Aaahh! ...look out for that METEOR!)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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