A meteor shower is underway across the continental United States this evening. Most of the snow has moved away from the state and we have some good viewing conditions to see some meteors associated with the Taurid meteor shower. Information from the Denver Post on some of the meteors you may witness tonight is found below!
“Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal,” according to a post on the International Meteor Organization’s website. “A great majority of the material orbiting in outer space are tiny sub-millimeter sized bits of stone, ice, or metal, or a combination of these materials. These are known as micrometeoroids or simply space dust. These tiny fragments cannot produce enough light to be seen when encountering the atmosphere and yet they contribute many tons of material to the Earth’s weight each year.
“As the size of these objects approach a millimeter, they begin to produce enough light to be seen upon entry to the upper atmosphere as ordinary meteors,” the International Meteor Organization reported. “Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than 1 millimeter have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above. These bright meteors are what we call fireballs, and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”