Shooting Stars

Wednesday, May 24, 2017



Credit: iStockphoto/ bjdlzx

The universe is a big place but it's not empty. Meteor showers consist of space flotsam and jetsam that enters our atmosphere and burns up due to friction. Most meteors are very small, some as tiny as a grain of sand, so they disintegrate in the air. Larger ones that reach the Earth's surface are called meteorites. In the rare case of impact they blast out craters 12 to 20 times their size.

On a related note, tonight, WGBH’s Nova looks back at the morning of February 15, 2013, when a 7,000-ton asteroid crashed into the Earth’s atmosphere, exploded and fell to earth across a wide swath near the Ural Mountains. Nova crews, along with impact scientists, hit the ground in Russia to hunt for debris from the explosion and clues to the meteor’s origin and makeup.

Watch it tonight at 9pm on WGBH 2. More airings

Tags: May 2017

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