A Japanese Epsilon rocket will launch a suite of seven experimental satellites this evening (Jan. 17), including one little cubesat that will test out creating artificial meteors.
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.
The small asteroid that broke up over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, 2013, was a reminder about the importance of monitoring small bodies in space that could pose a threat to Earth.
Lots of people got to admire, and puzzle over, the fireball that blazed up off the coast of Northern California just after sunset on Wednesday (Dec. 19).
A fireball lit up the skies over Northern California on Dec. 19, 2018, and left a spectacular, wind-twisted trail behind it. See photos here.
A fireball lit up the sky over the San Francisco Bay Area shortly after sunset Wednesday (Dec. 19), leaving an odd, wind-twisted trail in its violent wake.
NASA's new Mars lander isn't quite ready to probe the Red Planet's interior yet, but it's starting to get the lay of the land on the surface — and in the atmosphere.
In mid-December 2018, the 2018 Geminid meteor shower peaked in what was the best meteor shower of the year. See amazing photos of the 2018 Geminids in our photo gallery here.
The Geminid meteor shower has already peaked — but you still have time to try to catch sight of what will likely be the best meteor shower of the year.
For those hoping to get a glimpse of tonight's Geminid meteor shower, the weather across the United States will either be very good or very bad.
The Geminid meteor shower will provide a shining backdrop for the approach of Comet 46P/Wirtanen on Thursday (Dec. 13), shortly before the object's closest approach to Earth in 20 years.
Head for dark, clear skies tonight — overnight Dec. 13-14 — to see the shooting stars of the Geminid Meteor Shower overhead.
The Perseids meteor shower arises out of the debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last made a pass by Earth in 1992.
Once upon a time, there was a small comet that led to a big meteor shower. Is that mysterious shower set to return?