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Meteor shower

Meteor shower

R305/0157

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Meteor shower, artwork. A meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a cloud of dust particles during its orbit around the Sun. As the dust particles enter Earth's atmosphere they burn up, leaving bright trails of light. The meteors in such a shower appear to originate from the same point. This is merely an effect of perspective, however, and their tracks are actually parallel. Most meteor showers are associated with comets. As the comet orbits the Sun, it leaves a trail of debris in the form of tiny particles. Several annual meteor showers are known, most of which have been linked to the orbits of specific comets.

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