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Name: Diana
Status: student
Age: 12
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 - 2000

Why do stars fall?

Hi Diana!

The stars that you see shining in the sky are huge, very huge celestial bodies and are very very far away from our solar system. They are in fire, in a temperature very high, and that is why they shine. And they dont "fall"...Our Sun is a quite small star but we see it big because it is quite close to us compared with the others that we see so small because of the distance.

What is commonly called "falling stars" are meteors or meteorites that are small pieces of rock and debris running in the solar system; if one pass close to the Earth the gravity force attracts it toward the land. And when it enters the atmosphere the velocity and the friction sets in fire the whole or part of it...then we see if falling brilliantly and people call a "falling star"...Several times of the year the Earth passes close to a region of space where there are many of these meteors...and if you are lucky you will be able to see at the same time several of them falling, it is a very beautiful spectacle.

Thanks for asking NEWTON

(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)

They don't. What looks like a falling star is actually a meteor entering earth's atmosphere and getting hot enough to glow brightly from bashing through all those air molecules.

Tim Mooney

Those are not actual "stars" that are falling. What you see is actually a small rocky body called a meteoroid which is hitting the atmosphere of our planet. When it does this it becomes what we call a meteor which is your falling star. When it hits the atmosphere of our planet the air begins to rub against it. Like when you rub your hands together, this creates a lot of heat. This causes it to heat up and glow, which makes it look like a falling star. If any of the rock survives and hits the ground, then it is called a meteorite.

Jeffrey Tieman
Physics Teacher
York High School

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