Meteoroids are chunks of matter which may originate from asteroid belt

madugundurukmini By madugundurukmini, 27th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/j7xza7hf/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Physical Forces

Bigger meteoroids sometimes survive the journey and hit the earth resulting in craters and vents on the earth's crust. They are called meteorites.

Asteroids and meteoroids

Between the vast space of the orbits of Mars and Jupiter there are thousands of irregularly shaped lumps of rocks that orbit the Sun. They are asteroids. Some asteroids are also found in other parts of the solar system. But the main asteroid belt is between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The largest asteroids are Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta.
Meteoroids are chunks of matter which may originate from asteroid belt. Some times they may enter the earth's atmosphere and burn up due to the heat generated by friction. These meteoroids which burn completely are called `meteors' which we call shooting stars. They are also called falling stars. If a large number of them in the sky happen to appear at the same time, they cause a shower of meteors. During the visit of a comet some fragments of the comet burn up after entering the earth's atmosphere. Bigger meteoroids sometimes survive the journey and hit the earth resulting in craters and vents on the earth's crust. They are called meteorites. Many plantes, satellites have large craters formed by the impact of meteorites.
Leonid showers
Somewhere around the mid November in the constellation Leo that is in North – East direction if you watch the sky after mid night you may observe more number of meteors.
Jupiter is the fifth planet. It is the biggest planet of the solar system. Its Orbital period is nearly 2 years. Its day is about 10 hours. That means it rotates very fast. Due to fast rotation it is bulged at the equator and flattened at the poles. The thick gas clouds which are attached to the planet due to its strong gravitational force also rotate with the planet resulting in bands. These bands are visible through a telescope. Try to identify this planet in night sky.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
28th Jul 2015 (#)

You need to distinguish between asteroid belt objects and the clouds of dust (and other very small particles) that give rise to meteor showers.

The latter are encountered when Earth's orbit takes them through the clouds at certain times of the year - as you say.

However, the larger objects that might cause problems if they got too close to us are "rogue" asteroids on highly irregular orbits that take them across the orbits of the inner planets. These are constantly watched in case one should pose a threat to Earth - there are none at present that need cause us too much alarm!

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