The main source of meteoroids is the dust and rock released as the prime layer of a comet nucleus melts. When Earth comes into contact with them, they burn up in the upper atmosphere. As they are burning, they are known as meteors. Any which reach Earth’s surface are known as meteorites. The large fiery tail following a meteor is called a fireball or bolide. Since meteorites move faster than the speed of sound, they may be accompanied by sonic booms.
When the number of meteors is large, it is called a meteor shower. This is caused when the nucleus of a comet cannot hold together. The dust and rock spread out along the comet’s orbit. If Earth intersects that orbit, a meteor shower can be seen.
Major Meteor Showers
|Lyrids||1||April 22||15||48||Eta Aquarids||6||May 6||55||66||North Delta Aquarids||8||August 12||12||41||Persieds||3||August 8||90||60||Orionids||2||October 17||30||66||Leonids||2||November 18||45||72||Geminids||3||December 12||105||36||Ursids||1||December 22||40||34|
Recent Major Meteor Storms