• Question: what causes meteor showers

    Asked by sophiedobbins to Colm, Eoin, Joseph, Lauren, Stephen on 17 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Joseph Roche

      Joseph Roche answered on 17 Nov 2013:

      Meteor showers are caused by bits of space rock and dust entering our atmosphere and burning up at high speed. It’s only when they are really big that they make it through the atmosphere and can cause us problems…

    • Photo: Stephen Scully

      Stephen Scully answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Meteor showers are usually bits of dust and grains of sand that hit the earths atmosphere. When they do they get really really hot and burn up. This burning is what we see.

    • Photo: colm bracken

      colm bracken answered on 18 Nov 2013:

      Yes, as the other two guys said meteor showers are caused by dust grains burning up as they enter the atmosphere. Most of the bright streaks that we call shooting stars are actually only the size of a grain of sand or sugar. The reason they release so much light and energy is due to the huge speeds that the grains are travelling at. The material typically travels through space at thousands of miles per hour. This means that if even a small piece of dirt hits the space station then it can do huge damage to it.

    • Photo: Lauren Mc Keown

      Lauren Mc Keown answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      Most of the debris which comes from meteors or asteroids burns up in our atmosphere and we see this as a meteor shower or “shooting stars”. Lucky for us that most of it burns up, otherwise we’d be in trouble! In history, there have been many dangerous meteor events however, where the rock actually reached Earth like the one in Russia last year which devastated many people.