WALTER PACHOLKA, ASTROPICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WALTER PACHOLKA, ASTROPICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Leonid meteor and Sirius. Optical image of a Leonid meteor (bright streak) and Sirius, the Dog Star (bright spot). Meteors, or shooting stars, are tiny particles of dust which enter the Earth's atmosphere with speeds of 35-95 kilometres per second. Air resistance heats the particles, making them visible as streaks of light. The Leonid meteor shower occurs annually around 17th November when the Earth crosses the path of debris produced by the Tempel-Tuttle 1886 I comet. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and one of the nearest to Earth at a distance of 8.7 light years. It is in the constellation of Canis Major.
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