“Look, there is a shooting star! Let’s wish for something”. This is what everyone’s reaction is after they see a bright streak of light passing through the sky. Ever since the olden times, the shooting stars were considered as something that could fulfil their wishes and make their dreams come true. Even today, when we see a star falling from the sky, we close our eyes and wish for something expecting it to be fulfilled.
But science is everywhere around us. Then how can there be no scientific reason behind these bright shooting stars! Not everyone knows this but these streaks of lights falling towards the earth is, unfortunately, not a star. The Universe is very big with a lot of explosions and reactions happening around. The celestial bodies clash and collide from each other resulting in destruction or birth of new bodies of mass.
When it comes to shooting star, the same happens. The astronomical bodies collide and new particles are formed. But the dust and small rock particles keep floating in the universe. When the dust particles, often referred to as comets or meteors, move with a very high speed, they start glowing. This gives us the picture of a star which is falling from the sky and so we call them shooting stars.
The rock and dust particles come near the atmosphere of the earth. This causes their speed to increase to a very high level. They face the friction and the obstruction from the different layers of the atmosphere. This results in the burning of the rocks and dust particles. It starts glowing and moves towards the surface of the Earth with a very high speed.
The burning meteor does not stay for a long time. Generally, the shooting stars are seen during the dawn because the earth faces the direction in which it rotates. The glow of the star could be seen for around 15-20 minutes. If the meteor hits the ground before getting burned up completely, it is called a meteorite. The shooting stars are not actually a part of any star or constellation. It can come from any part of the universe and can fall on the Earth.
The shooting stars are so beautiful to look at. But the sight of many shooting stars falling together is mesmerising. This falling of many shooting stars is termed as meteor shower. There are certain times of a year when the night sky is decorated with enormous light streaks. This happens when the Earth comes near the region where there are a lot of dust particles after the explosion of a celestial body. Many particles fall at the same time, with high pressure and speed which makes them glow. This looks like a meteor shower.
The tradition of wishing after seeing a shooting star is being practised since ages. It is not possible that the wishes would be fulfilled every time. But these meteors and the science behind its glowing will never fail in catching everyone’s attention towards its beauty!