Meteors and Comets
November 27, 2006 8:08pm CST
Have you ever seen one? In what sounds like a scene from the 70s movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, people in South Australia and western Victoria have deluged police and media with reports of a spectacular meteor sighting. Police in SA said they took calls from just after 8pm (CST) on Monday from Renmark and Loxton in the Riverland, most Adelaide suburbs and then from people living south of the city, with reports of something looking like a fireball in the sky. In Victoria, callers to ABC Radio, from Bendigo to Horsham in the state's north-west down to Colac in the south-west, reported seeing a bright green coloured object shooting westward in the sky.
1 person likes this
28 Dec 06
the answer with the "orbit" reference is pretty good..brief and correct. Comets are periodic travelers about our solar system that have one of 2 orbits, one that brings them around every year and the other, they are discovered, show up, leave and never come back. It is not that I do not know the difference between a hyperbole and parabole orbit, it is that I do not know how to spell them. Meteors are chunks of rock that fly through space and when captured by our gravity, fall into our atmosphere. The friction heats them and we see a meteor or shooting star. If they are large enough and strikje the ground they are meteorites. Comets are frozen chunks that glow from the energy of the sun, emitting particles that form "tails" and these tails always point away from the sun because of this. Meteors have trails, not tails. Sometimes you may see a meteor blow up and then it is called a "bolide". I would have called it a meteor that blows up!