Posted: Nov 11, 2010
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Better known as shooting stars, meteors are actually not stars at all, but rather pieces of metallic and/or stony debris entering Earth’s atmosphere and “burning up.” What we see as the “tail” is actually a trail of gas left from the burning object entering our atmosphere. Although hard to believe, the average meteor is usually about the size of a pebble, yet visible 40-75 miles above earth. If they make it to the ground, they are called meteorites.
Meteors were often seen by the ancient Hawaiians as well, and were referred to by them as akualele, or “flying gods.” Many of these akualele were seen as vengeful gods or objects of sorcery. Some stories even tell of Pele taking the form of a fireball and flying over the mountains.