Q:

How often do you see shooting stars?

A:

Quick Answer

A shooting star can be seen every 10 to 15 minutes while stargazing, according to Cornell Astronomy. However, depending upon clouds in the sky, dust and air pollution – and also considering that only a small part of the sky is visible at a time – this interval can vary.

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Full Answer

The scientific term for shooting stars is "meteors." Outer space contains many small particles, such as dust, rocks and ice, that are known as meteoroids. When these meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere, they burn and fall at high speed with a blazing trail and are called shooting stars. More than 22,000 tons of space particles enter Earth's atmosphere every year as meteors.

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    What is the average size of a shooting star?

    A:

    The burning meteor that causes a shooting star can vary from the size of a grain of sand to a 1-meter-long object. As the meteor falls through the atmosphere, it burns up and gives the appearance of a star falling.

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    Why can't we see stars during the day?

    A:

    Most stars cannot be seen during daylight hours because light from the sun is brighter than the relatively faint light from the other stars. This is largely a result of the Earth's atmosphere scattering the sun's light so that every point in the sky seems brighter than distant stars.

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