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The Question

(Submitted November 03, 1997)

I would like to know if shooting stars are real, and what makes them move? Thank you for your answer.

The Answer

Shooting stars come from meteoroids, small pieces of material left over from the formation of the solar system, which are entering the earth's atmosphere and burning up as they do. You can find out more on our web pages:

http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level1/meteoroids.html

and

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970409b.html

I hope this helps!

Tim Kallman
for the Ask an Astrophysicist Team

Questions on this topic are no longer responded to by the "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. See http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/ask_an_astronomer.html for help on other astronomy Q&A services.

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