Asteroids are rocky objects located between Mars and Jupiter, called the Asteroid Belt. Different from comets, where comets are rocky objects made from ice and dust. Sometimes, an asteroid cross over the Earth. In 1992, lots of small objects found outside the orbit of Neptune known as Kuiper Belt Object (KBO). KBO is similar to the Asteroid Belt it’s filled with small objects, remains of solar system formation. Till today the researcher has found about 70,000 objects in KBO.
Space rocks (Photo credit to NASA/CXC/M.Weiss )
Sometimes an asteroid could be smashing to one another resulted in it to break off to smaller pieces, named as a meteoroid. When a meteoroid enters Earth’s atmosphere, it will vaporize and turns into a meteor. When a meteor falls, it can be seen as a streak of lights, that familiar with the name of shooting stars. Millions of meteor enter Earth’s atmosphere every day, some of it when it does not completely burn up at the atmosphere it will land on the Earth. It is known as a meteorite.
Meteor shower captured in Telok Kemang Observatory
Fireball : A type of meteor that brighter than Venus, crossing Earth’s atmosphere. It occurs every day around the world. However, it quite rare because it could fall during the day or when the skies are cloudy. The easiest way to differentiate between meteor and fireball depends on its brightness. If the meteor is brighter than the most celestial object possibly it is a fireball.
Meteor Lyrids : Meteor shower Lyrids usually active starting from 16th to 25th April every year. Its peak time is on 22nd and 23rd April. Its name derived from constellation Lyra where scientists believed the meteor is coming from Lyra’s area.
Meteor Perseids: Meteor Shower Perseids active starting 23rd July till 20th August. It’s peak time on 12th and 13th August every year. It is believed to fall from constellation Perseus.
Meteor Geminids: Meteor shower Geminids active starting 4th to 17th December.Its peak time on 13th and 14th December. Geminids named came from Gemini where it can be seen fall from constellation Gemini.
Written by : Multazam Yazid
Internship Student USIM, 2017