What is a shooting star?



  • A shooting star can be defined as a rapidly moving meteor made of rock or metal that burns up as it enters the earth’s atmosphere.
  • The meteor is usually seen as a bright light in the sky, almost like a bright star travelling very fast across the sky and hence the name.

What exactly is a shooting star?

  • A shooting star might have the same look as a star in the sky that is moving very rapidly across the atmosphere. However, they are not the same thing.
  • A shooting star is basically a small meteor, that can be made up of rocks or metal, that falls down across the earth’s atmosphere from space.
  • This meteor moves at a very high speed within the earth’s atmosphere and during its passage, burns. This burning gives off a light or glow, which is what we see in the sky when we look at a shooting star.
  • When the meteor enters the earth’s atmosphere, it undergoes some chemical changes or chemical reactions along with a change in pressure causing it to burn up and glow like a star.
  • The path traced by the shooting star also has a streak of glow as it moves at great speed. the path traversed by it disappears almost instantaneously.
  • A glowing shooting star is also called a fireball.
  • The energy given out while moving makes the meteors get burned even before reaching the ground.
  • However, sometimes some meteors are capable of hitting the ground even after giving out some of their energy on the way to earth’s ground. This survived meteor is called a meteorite.
  • The biggest meteorite to date is named “Hoba meteorite”. It weighs about 60 tons.

Fun Facts:

  1. The temperature of a shooting star is about 3,000 Fahrenheit.
  2. One can witness a shooting star best at night-time. However, they can occur at any time during the whole day.
  3. Different shooting stars emit different light due to the difference in their material and origin.

Additional Question:

  1. What is a meteorite?
  2. What are stars?
  3. Enlist the differences between meteor and meteorite.

True or False:

  1. Shooting stars are the same as stars.
  2. Shooting stars are also called fireballs.
  3. The meteor is not related to a shooting star.
  4. Shooting star does not give away any light while moving in the earth’s atmosphere.
  5. Fireballs are the least glowing shooting star.

Objective Quiz:

  1. A shooting star can be said as _______ that burns up in the earth’s atmosphere while moving at a fast speed.
    1. A small metal or dust meteor
    2. Large metal or dust meteor
    3. metal meteor
    4. dust meteor
  2. __________ is the most glowing shooting star.
    1. Fireball.
    2. Iceball.
    3. Hot ball.
    4. None of the above.
  3. Shooting star has the same appearance as  ______.
    1. Star.
    2. Moon.
    3. Earth.
    4. Satellite.
  4. Shooting stars are nothing, but _________ that burns up in earth’s environment.
    1. Meteorite.
    2. Meteor.
    3. Sun.
    4. Moon.
  5. The meteor that hits the earth’s surface is called a _________.
    1. Meteorite.
    2. Moon.
    3. Satellite.
    4. Meteor.


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