Meteoroids, meteors, meteorites, asteroids and comets are so-called near-Earth objects, or NEOs.

It is possible that in a first analysis, unskilled, it may have the feeling that these types of objects are equal, but it is not even certain similarity between them.


Bodies are metal or rock, which revolve around the sun in orbits closer to those of Neptune and Pluto, although most of them do between Mars and Jupiter forming the so-called asteroid belt, yet their paths are not very stable and because interaction forces can be displaced outermost orbits, but always within the Solar System. Formerly they were known by the name of planetoids or minor planets. The larger ones have a more spherical shape than smaller ones that are usually irregular.

On Friday May 31 this year at 29, 59 hours, according to NASA, the asteroid 2700 1998QE2-meters in diameter and its satellite-passed 600 meters to 5.8 million kilometers from Earth, Astrophysics what is called “skimming.” Statistics say that it may take millions of years for objects of this size longer collide with Earth. Its effects would be devastating, as the one caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.



Celestial objects are composed of rock and ice that evaporate as they approach the Sun (sublimation) giving rise to the famous “tails”. Comets draw very large orbits, elliptic, periodic high eccentricity but which gives rise to some of them, once they have passed close to the sun, do not let see again in thousands of years but it is also true that because of their small sizes, they have to be in close proximity of the sun to be visible. Scientist Edmund Halley was the first to predict, in 1705 – the return of Halley’s comet (named in his honor) for 1758. His prediction was fulfilled, though he did not live to see it. It is assumed that comets come from the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt, located in the confines of the solar system. In ancient times, its presence was associated very often with apocalyptic forecasts.

The Meteoroid

Planets, satellites, asteroids and comets lose mass in the form of small fragments or small particles that orbit the Sun, are called meteoroids that are grouped in swarms that are always kept in the same orbit depending on the object from which they come. If your annual journey around the Sun, the Earth is with them, can collide with meteoroids atmosphere. Depending on its mass may volatilize to get into it, are called meteors, although it is popularly known as “shooting stars” or “shooting stars”. But some of them support friction and reach the earth’s surface with a certain mass, crashing it.

The Perseids

In the northern hemisphere, because in August enjoying good weather and clear skies, you can observe a meteor shower called Perseids, more popularly known as the “Tears of St. Lawrence”. Its scientific name is because when you look in the sky, shooting stars seem to come from the constellation Perseus, as his nickname is related that on August 10th marks the day of San Lorenzo, a saint she cried when she was burned at the stake. It is easy to observe a meteor shower and very advisable to do at first. Let’s find a place away from light pollution of the city, on the nights of 16 to 24 August, let us sit in a beach chair or tumbemonos in a blanket on the ground, look for the constellation Perseus and enjoy the show.