Leonids Meteor Shower

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    • The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun. This year’s shower is active between November 6 and 30, with peak activity expected on November 17.

    About Leonids Meteor Shower

    • The debris that forms this meteor shower originates from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun.
    • The Leonids are considered to be a major shower that features the fastest meteors, which typically travel at speeds of 71 km per second, although the rates are often as low as 15 meteors per hour.
    • The Leonids are also called fireballs and earthgazer meteors. Fireballs, because of their bright colours, and earthgazer, because they streak close to the horizon.
    •  The light—which is why a meteor is called a shooting star — is a result of the friction between the meteorite and the molecules present in the Earth’s atmosphere because of which it burns.

    Meteorite

    • Meteoroids are objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids.
    • Also known as “space rocks”
    • When meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere they are called meteors. 
    • But if a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and hits the ground, it is called a meteorite.

    Source: IE