CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Meteor shower. Illustration of a meteor shower over a city at night. Meteor showers are caused by microscopic dust particles that enter the Earth's atmosphere and ignite due to air resistance, producing streaks of light. They occur at the same time each year, when the Earth crosses the orbit of a comet and collides with its debris. The particles travel in parallel trails but due to a perspective effect seem to radiate from one point, which is called the radiant. This effect is illustrated here by comparison with the city's converging streets.
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