Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are pieces of dust and debris from space that burn up in Earth's atmosphere, where they can create bright streaks across the night sky. When Earth passes through the dusty trail of a comet or asteroid's orbit, the many streaks of light in the sky are known as a meteor shower. Particularly large chunks of material can create an extra-bright fireball streak, but most meteors are still small enough to entirely burn up in Earth's atmosphere. If a meteor makes it to Earth it's known as a meteorite. Before they hit atmosphere the objects are called meteoroids.
Scientists baked meteorites in an oven and studied the gases they released to investigate the atmospheres of rocky planets.
The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Thursday morning (April 22), the first good meteor shower in nearly four months, although a bright moon could interfere.
In late April, skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere will get a view of the Lyrid meteor shower, the dusty trail of a comet with a centuries-long orbit around the sun.
Meteor showers are the occasional reminder that the solar system is full of dirty and icy clumps, but you wouldn't describe them that way when you see them shining across the night sky.
A rare fireball meteor bright enough to be seen during the day triggered a massive sonic boom over parts of the UK and France.
The singed hunk of asteroid was discovered in the driveway of a house in Winchcombe, a small town in the southwestern English county of Gloucestershire.
If you live in Vermont and heard an explosion just before dinnertime Sunday (March 7), there's a good chance that was a shockwave from an incoming meteor exploding over the state.
A fireball blazed across the skies of southern England Sunday night (Feb. 28), and it likely dropped singed hunks of cosmic rock on the countryside below.
Two meteor enthusiasts have found a piece of an iron meteorite that fell over Sweden in November 2020.
The chunk of space rock that killed the nonavian dinosaurs may have been a piece of a comet that Jupiter's gravity kicked onto a collision course with Earth.
What if the world were constantly bombarded with space-rock smashups, big enough and frequent enough to shape the course of entire cultures?
The Quadrantid meteor shower of 2021 peaks overnight on Jan. 2 and 3, but the bright moon will spoil the view.
2021 will be a lackluster year to see the annual Quadrantid meteor shower during its sharp peak overnight on Saturday (Jan. 2). Here's our guide.
There's a giant asteroid somewhere out there in the solar system, and it hurled a big rock at Earth that left behind meteorites unlike any scientists had ever seen.
Here's a list of 7 intriguing objects — and a few reptiles — that made headlines for falling from the sky.
The 2019 Ursid meteor shower will peak the night of Dec. 21-22, with expected rates of about five to 10 meteors per hour.