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Science Note-Taking: Meteor Showers (Grade 7)

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Science Note-Taking: Meteor Showers

Instructions: An important part of science is doing research. Before scientists begin to design and conduct experiments, they research background information on the topic. Knowing how to identify key information from articles is a skill all scientists must develop.

Read the following passage. Then, fill-in the two-column notes. The left column should include main ideas or key vocabulary. The right column should include brief details or definitions about the items listed in the left column. Using the right column to draw diagrams or sketches that illustrate main ideas and vocabulary is a useful strategy as well.

What Is a Meteor Shower?
Have you ever wished upon a shooting star? If so, you were really wishing upon a meteor! A meteor is a streak of light in the sky from a small piece of rock or dust falling through the mesosphere of the Earth's atmosphere. The small pieces of rock in space are meteoroids. Any meteoroids that reach the Earth's surface are called meteorites. Don't worry though! Most meteoroids burn up before reaching the ground.

As the Earth orbits the sun, it crosses trails of meteoroids left from comets and even asteroids. Comets orbit the sun in their own paths. When a comet's orbit takes it close to the sun, the heat from the sun boils off some of the ice from the comet. This releases a trail of dust and rocky debris. We see an increase in the number of meteors when the Earth crosses a debris field of meteoroids. This is a meteor shower. Some meteor showers produce upwards of 100 meteors per hour! Although, most showers produce much lower rates of meteors.

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