Meteor trails

Meteor trails

Fig. 14.24 . A glowing meteor streaks across the stars near the constellation Cygnus. The straight trail was produced by a sand- or pebble-sized piece of a comet, burned up by friction as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere. The curved structure (right center), known as the Cygnus Loop, is an expanding shell of material thrown off during the supernova explosion of a massive, dying star. (Courtesy of the Yerkes Observatory.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University