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Meteor shower

Meteor shower

R305/0175

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Credit

ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROGER HARRIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Meteor shower. Computer artwork of a meteor shower impacting the Earth, with the Sun at upper left. A meteor shower results when the Earth encounters a region of space with large amounts of dust and small rocks (asteroids). The dust and debris (yellow streaks) will often be the remains of a comet (a larger astronomical body) that has disintegrated. As the tiny dust particles speed into the Earth's atmosphere they are heated by air resistance to create trails of light (orange). One such shower is the Leonid shower, which occurs annually for about 2 days around 17th November, when the Earth crosses the debris produced by the comet Tempel-Tuttle (55P).

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