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40 votes

What was the large green yellow thing streaking across the sky?

There was a fireball visible in VA at about 10pm EDT on the 28th of July https://fireballs.imo.net/members/imo_view/event/2022/4424 Other observers suggest it lasted about 3.5 seconds and was as ...
James K's user avatar
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31 votes
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Where is the Perseids meteor shower coming from?

The comet sheds material each time it get close to the sun. The sun heats this dirty snow ball, the ice evaporates and tears dust and smaller rocks with it. These dust particles then follow a similar ...
SpaceCore's user avatar
  • 3,033
31 votes

How is Halley's comet still in one piece?

The basic answer to your question though is that Halley's comet is unlikely to be very old (in the sense that it has not spent a large amount of time orbiting the Sun as closely as it does now). Most ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why would the Perseids meteor rate fall off after maximum faster than the increase before maximum?

A very interesting question. Neither Bruce McClure at EarthSky nor I knew the answer, despite the fact that the observed gradual rise in numbers for the Perseids - and their quick drop-off - is ...
Deborah Byrd's user avatar
11 votes

Where is the Perseids meteor shower coming from?

The comet releases lots of dust particles. The sunlight pushes these particles into orbits not quite the same as the comet Some particles will be pushed into faster orbits, some will be pushed into ...
James K's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

If Earth had no atmosphere, how many people would be killed by meteors every year?

Three millions. For this answer to be any fun, let's first assume that before removing the atmosphere, we have equipped all humans with oxygen supplies. In return, they are not allowed to go indoors ...
pela's user avatar
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8 votes

Why would the Perseids meteor rate fall off after maximum faster than the increase before maximum?

Interesting question indeed, especially since it's still a matter of investigation in meteor research area! Here are some elements of answer (but definitely not all elements...): This observed ...
J. Vaubaillon's user avatar
8 votes

How is Halley's comet still in one piece?

Comets can be fairly large initially, multiple kilometers across. However, just as parrots become ex-parrots, comets eventually become ex-comets. They shed volatiles, sometimes shed pieces, and yet ...
David Hammen's user avatar
7 votes
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What (actually) is Jupiter doing to this year's Perseids meteor shower?

To put it in simple terms, a comet's debris trail or dust trail is like a ring of debris that generally follows the entire orbit of the comet, more concentrated close to the comet, more spread out ...
userLTK's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit?

The cometary particles need not retain the exact same orbit as the comet in order to stay close together near perihelion, thus where their orbit passes Earth's orbit. Slight changes in the orbital ...
planetmaker's user avatar
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7 votes
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What determines if a comet's debris will produce periodic meteor showers?

Meteor showers tend to be formed from dust from short period comets. As they swing repeatedly around the sun, they build up a stream of dust in orbits close to their own orbit. Some will be pushed ...
James K's user avatar
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7 votes
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Any record of the Earth passing through the tail (not trail) of a comet?

Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet in 1910. It caused a bit of a panic due to claims that cyanogen detected in the tail would cause harm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley%27s_Comet#...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
7 votes

Could a rogue comet perturb a frequently occurring meteor shower to the extent that debris falls on Earth...and dislodges satellites?

Could it perturb? No and yes. Meteor showers are made of meteroids in orbit around the sun, and the gravity of everything affects them, by the law of universal gravitation. But the meteors orbit in ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
6 votes
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Meteor shower from Moon's "debris"

There is a class of meteorites called Lunar Meteorites and several of those have been found on earth. Of course, it doesn't necessarily indicate whether we have actually witnessed a certain lunar ...
Dhruv Saxena's user avatar
5 votes
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What comet's tail did Earth pass through before Halley's?

The quotation is probably referring to The Great Comet of 1861. According to this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/1861_J1 The comet may have interacted with the Earth in an almost ...
D. Halsey's user avatar
  • 166
4 votes
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Why do we only have one major meteor shower from 3200 Phaethon?

Note the short straight lines that hang down (or stick up) from the orbital track of 3200 Phaethon you reference. These indicate the distance above or below the plane of earth's orbit (the ecliptic) ...
DJohnM's user avatar
  • 1,041
3 votes

Do meteor showers start slowly each night?

The number you are able to detect increases as it gets darker. The number occurring is apt to be greater when the zenith of the sky is closest to pointing in the direction the earth takes orbiting ...
tomc's user avatar
  • 463
3 votes
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Can you view the Perseid meteor shower anywhere on Earth?

You can see perseid meteors from all the Northern Hemisphere, and the Northern part of the Southern Hemisphere. Provided the sky is clear, the moon has set, and Perseus is above the horizon you will ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes
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Fact Check: How bright will the Perseids be in 2017?

To answer the second part of the question: Will you be able to see the Perseids in the daytime with the naked eye this year? No. Regular meteor showers (those caused by the Earth passing through ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 4,790
3 votes

Fact Check: How bright will the Perseids be in 2017?

There is variation in meteor showers from year to year, but for most showers, the big difference is how bright the moon is. If the moon is up, then it's hard to see many meteors. The Perseids of 2017 ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes

Do massive bolide entries coincide with meteor showers?

In historical times we do not have enough data to do serious statistics about meteors of the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor. In Wikipedia's list of meteor air bursts there are only six events within ...
aventurin's user avatar
  • 744
3 votes

Meteor shower predicted to be best viewed BEFORE midnight (for reasons other than the moon)?

Not that I know of, and it would somewhat surprise me. The number of meteors from a shower you will see depends on the time of night through a number of reasons (not considering the weather and the ...
Bart W's user avatar
  • 496
3 votes

How can you usefully determine the dimensions of the perseides meteor shower band earth passes through?

A lot of it relies on observations, the International Meteor Organization hosts the Visual Meteor Database with observations going back to 1972. So, imagine plotting the Earth's orbit in 3D space ...
Greg Miller's user avatar
  • 5,867
3 votes

Meteors arriving to a planet's atmosphere?

Yes, the material (dust and gas) stays in the atmosphere, at least for a while. Larger particles of dust will tend to fall, but are strongly affected by turbulence in the lower atmosphere. Water and ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes

Meteors arriving to a planet's atmosphere?

The assumption of an atmosphere with nearly no wind is difficult to find or create - but let's assume we find such body. Gravity works on solid particles, and assuming that they are denser than the ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 19.4k
2 votes

pH of meteorite

Meteorites are rocks, and rocks are normally quite insoluble. When an insoluble body is mixed with water the pH of the water isn't changed.# Meteorites contain quite a lot of various metallic oxides, ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
2 votes
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Meteor shower predicted to be best viewed BEFORE midnight (for reasons other than the moon)?

The Draconids have a radiant that, from the the Northerly Latitudes (N America or Europe) is highest in the sky in the early evening of October 7th or 8th. This means that unlike most showers (which ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
2 votes
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Will I be able to see the Leonid Meteor Shower during mid night?

Leo starts to rise at about midnight, local time, so you should be fine, weather permitting. Note also that you may be able to see meteors even before then, as Leo is merely that part of the sky from ...
Dr Chuck's user avatar
  • 4,304
2 votes

Fact Check: How bright will the Perseids be in 2017?

The Perseids will not be the brightest in recorded human history. The fact-checking website snopes.com has this to say about this false claim: The reason the web site that originally made this ...
David Hammen's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Will the 2016 Perseid meteor shower be visible in Sydney, Australia?

The International Meteor Organization calendar for 2016, page 12, gives the Perseid radiant declination as +58$^\circ$ and says "regrettably, it cannot be properly viewed from most of the southern ...
Mike G's user avatar
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