Shooting Stars Competition

Win a real shooting star!

Go outside one evening, look up and, if you wait long enough and look in the right direction, you’ll see some “shooting stars” flash across the sky. These are also called “meteors” and are not really stars, but rather are tiny pieces of metal, rock and dust debris from outer space that collide with Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. They mainly come from ancient smashed asteroids and comet tails. The ones you usually see in the sky are the size of a grain of sand or rice and they disintegrate into fine dust. On rare occasions they can be much bigger, light up the entire sky like daylight, give sonic booms, and survive to reach the ground. When on the ground in the environment, they are called “meteorites”, and may be found by those who know what to look for.

Prizes:  5 real meteorites.

Eligibility: Only for school-age students at high school or primary school anywhere in Australia.

Cost: Free, thanks to Inspiring Australia (Victoria).

What to do: Go to the competition link below, answer some easy questions and put in your best answer at the final BIG meteor question there. Then wait. That’s it. The winners will be contacted by email and one of their teachers must then reply to us with an address to which the prize can be safely shipped.

The calculated answer will be posted here once determined. Type your answers carefully because duplicates will be disqualified. Only one entry per student. Competition is open now and closes on 22-August. The first received closest answers to that determined from the “wisdom of the crowd” value after the competition ends will be the winners.

Credit: NASA/SETI/P. Jenniskens