It’s vacation time, we go to bed late. Tonight, you wanted to stay up to look at the night sky.
Suddenly, in the middle of the constellations, a trail of light appears. Oh, it’s already gone! Make a wish: it’s a shooting star.
But why did that star quickly shoot across the sky?
Because it’s not really a star at all!
Real stars, are enormous balls of superhot gas, like the sun. But they are so far away that they look really tiny.
A shooting star or meteor, is a light phenomenon caused by a small object from outer space entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
You know our planet’s surrounded by a layer of air: that’s how we can breathe.
When a rock drifting through space is attracted by the Earth, it crosses the atmosphere very quickly.
So quickly that the friction with the air sets it on fire!
Most burn up completely before hitting the ground. Rocks that do hit the ground are called meteorites.
Each summer, the Earth passes through a zone full of small debris left by a comet. In size, they range from a grain of sand to a pea.
As meteors seem to come from the constellation of Perseus, people called them Perseids.
During the night of the 11th or 12th of August: we see up to 100 an hour! That’s a lot of wishes…!!