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Shooting star… seen from space

15 Aug 2011, 17:24 UTC
Shooting star… seen from space
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Recently, everyone has been looking at the night sky, looking for a meteor. Astronaut Ron Caran, currently on board the International Space Station, had a unique view; he saw and captured a meteor burning up in our atmosphere, from space!
© Ron Garan/NASA
The picture was taken during the annual Perseid meteor shower, on August 13, so this meteor was probably a Perseid. Ron Garan posted this picture on his twitter account, writing:
“What a “Shooting Star” looks like #FromSpace Taken yesterday during Perseids Meteor Shower.”
Meteor showers are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. When these debris burn in the atmosphere, a number of meteors are observed to radiate from one point in the night sky. The Perseids meteor shower is generally the most visible one: it usually peaks on August 12, at a rate of over 60 meteors per hour.
Another famous meteor shower is the Leonids, which is the most spectacular one. It is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle and usually peaks around November 17, at a much higher rate. Each 33 years, the Leonids create a “meteor storm”, peaking at rates of thousands of ...

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