|A meteor is a small rock that falls into Earth's atmosphere from space. They can range in size from microscopic to asteroids although it is rare to observe on that is larger than a grain of sand.
When a meteor hits the atmosphere, it is traveling extremely fast, averaging 8 miles per second! This causes the rock to heat up and burn. What you will see is a fast streak across the sky. If they are large enough to survive the firery plunge through the atmosphere they will strike the ground as a meteorite.
Collecting MeteoritesFind a sheltered location in a yard or on a flat roof (get parents' permission) and place a pan or bowl up there. Make sure it doesn't get blown away. Leave it there for a few days making sure that it doesn't get rained in. When you get the pan, shake the dust into one corner and hold a magnet to it. The bits of metal that cling are tiny iron meteorites that fell softly to Earth.
|Name of Shower||Date of Peak Activity||Normal Duration||Expected Hourly Rates|
|Quadrantids||Jan. 3||Jan. 1-4||50|
|Alpha Aurigids||Feb. 8||Feb. 5-10||5|
|Virginids||Mar. 20||Mar. 5-Apr. 2||5|
|Lyrids||Apr. 21||Apr. 19-23||10-15|
|Eta Aquarids||May 4||May 1-8||20|
|Ophiuchids||June 20||June 17-25||20|
|Delta Aquarids||July 29||July 26-31||25|
|Perseids||Aug. 12||Aug. 10-14||60|
|Kappa Cygnids||Aug. 20||Aug. 18-22||5-10|
|Alpha Aurigids Draconids||Sept. 22||Sept. 20-24||5|
|Giacobini-Zinner||Oct. 9||Oct. 7-11||Varies (low to high)|
|Orionids||Oct. 21||Oct. 18-23||25|
|Taurids||Nov. 1||Oct. 15-Dec. 1||15|
|Leonids||Nov. 17||Nov. 14-20||Varies (low to high)|
|Geminids||Dec. 13||Dec. 10-15||50|
|Ursids||Dec. 22||Dec. 17-24||15|
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