By Michael I. Levy
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Extra info for The Outer Solar System
The intermediate- and high-albedo asteroid groups make up the remaining 4 percent of the population. For the most part, they occupy the same part of the main belt as the moderate-albedo objects. The albedo distribution for asteroids with diameters less than 25 km (15 miles) is poorly known because only a small fraction of this population has been characterized. However, if these objects are mostly fragments from a few asteroid families, then their albedo distribution may differ significantly from that of their larger siblings.
Meteors in showers characteristically are all moving in the same direction in space. As a consequence, plots of observed meteoroid trajectories on a map of the sky converge at a single point, the radiant of the shower, for the same reason that parallel railroad tracks appear to converge at a distance. A shower is usually named for the constellation (or for a star in the constellation) that contains its radiant. The introduction of photography to meteorite studies confirmed the theory developed from naked-eye observations that meteors belonging to a particular shower have not only the same radiant but similar orbits as well.
02 inch) across are too faint to be seen with the naked eye but are observable with binoculars and telescopes; they can also be detected by radar. Brighter meteors—ranging in brilliance from that of Venus to greater than that of the full moon—are less common but are not really unusual. These are produced by meteoroids with masses ranging from several grams up to about one ton (centimetre- to metre-sized objects, respectively). As meteoroids are traveling in interplanetary space near Earth, their velocities relative to Earth’s range from a few kilometres per second up to as high as 72 km (44 miles) per second.
The Outer Solar System by Michael I. Levy