A Meteor which is generally referred to a 'shooting star' or 'falling star' is a burning meteoroid or asteroid or comet which gets into the earth's atmosphere and heats up due to the collision with air molecules. Large number of encounters takes place between meteor and Earth's atmosphere day to day. The meteor size can vary from the size of a sand grain to the size of a football. The entry of meteoroids into Earth's atmosphere produces three main effects: ionization of atmospheric molecules, dust that the meteoroid sheds, and the sound of passage.
During the entry of a meteoroid or asteroid into the upper atmosphere, an ionization trail is created, where the air molecules are ionized by the passage of the meteor. Such ionization trails can last up to 45 minutes at a time.
A meteoroid is a spatial object which is usually smaller than the asteroids. When a meteoroid enter the domain of earth's atmosphere, it is known as a meteor or 'shooting star'. The International Astronomical Union ( IAU ) defined meteoroid as a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of size considerably smaller than that of an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom. The Meteoroid is mainly composed of iron, rock and stony iron. Most meteoroids come from asteroid belts, some of them are the particles of comets and the rest of them are fragments of other astronomical bodies, which are influenced by gravity.
- Importance in the field of research
The meteor that we observe today represents the sample material constituent responsible for early formation of our universe and also our solar system. By studying the constituent elements from these meteor samples, scientists have found a lot about the cosmological timescale of our Universe. Through these collected samples, it has been possible for our scientists to study the extreme conditions of the space and also its impact on the the objects. Also the researches in these field is progressing at a great pace.