Thursday, March 26, 2009

Astronomers Catch Shooting Star!!!

I’m a true astronomy buff. I used to love teaching a unit on the solar system and outer space when I was an elementary teacher. My students and I got so excited when we were studying about planets, stars, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, black holes, quasars, comets, pulsars, etc. My students wrote reports and poems and postcards from space—and created imaginary planets and impressionistic paintings. We read all kids on literature on the subject of space, space travel, alien creatures--poetry, picture books, science fiction, folktales, biographies and other nonfiction.

I was always on the lookout for “space” news. Here’s an interesting article I came across this morning on the Internet:

From the Associated Press
Astronomers catch a shooting star for the 1st time
By Seth Borensteain, AP Science Writer—March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON – For the first time scientists matched a meteorite found on Earth with a specific asteroid that became a fireball plunging through the sky. It gives them a glimpse into the past when planets formed and an idea how to avoid a future asteroid Armageddon.

Last October, astronomers tracked a small non-threatening asteroid heading toward Earth before it became a "shooting star," something they had not done before. It blew up in the sky and scientists thought there would be no space rocks left to examine.

But a painstaking search by dozens of students through the remote Sudan desert came up with 8.7 pounds of black jagged rocks, leftovers from the asteroid 2008 TC3. And those dark rocks were full of surprises and minuscule diamonds, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature.

You can read the rest of the article here.


Jacqui said...

That is so impossibly cool, both literally and metaphorically.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I know what you mean! I get really excited about news like this.

Sara said...

So, catch a shooting star and get diamonds, huh? How romantic!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'll have to check out the Perseid meteor showers come August! Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

Linda said...

Elaine, I always loved teaching the astronomy unit too. Your post reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago about my sons looking at the stars. I was trying to come up with an idea for this Poetry Friday, thanks to you, I have one!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'm looking forward to reading the poem about your sons and the stars.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is cool. The kiddo just checked out a whole bunch of books on black holes and meteorites from the library. Will have to show him this! Thanks.

Elaine Magliaro said...


That's MY kind of kiddo. I hope he has fun reading those books.

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