Every day, more than 40 tonnes of meteoroids hit our planet, with larger chunks of comet debris becoming fireballs

skymap-activity

Click to enlarge

The blue map tracks their position in the skies over our planet with the main showers highlighted in white circles

skymap-velocity

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A second radar map looks at meteoroid speed. The red regions indicate a speed of 7.5 miles/s (12km/s), the green from 26 miles/s (42km/s) and the blue from 41 miles/s (66km/s)

Maps produced using the space agency’s Asgard program which tracks an estimated 4,000-5,000 meteoroids a day

WHICH ROCK IS WHICH?

An asteroid is a large chunk of rock left over from collisions or the early solar system.

Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.

A comet is a rock covered in ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much further out of the solar system.

A meteor is what we call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns up.

This debris itself is known as a meteoroid. Most are so small they are vapourised in the atmosphere.

If any of this meteoroid makes it to Earth, it is called a meteorite

Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites normally originate from asteroids and comets.

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