Whether you are wishing on a ‘shooting star’ or wondering about the likelihood of an asteroid ending life on earth, read on for more about the origins of comets, meteors and asteroids. Plus, discover how you can learn to observe asteroids for yourself.




19th-century astronomers went beyond cataloguing the skies to understanding their composition and predicting what could not be seen.

The challenges of measuring everything from a fast-moving, wobbly platform through a haze.

It is a star, is it a planet or is it a plane? A handy guide to identifying that bright object you saw last night.

Hundreds of thousands of asteroids litter the solar system - while fragments of them rain down as meteorites - yet the first one was only found in 1801

Comets have fascinated us for hundreds of years as they hurtled past Earth as celestial sprays of fire but they are only now at all understood. 

What are comets, meteors, shooting stars, meteorites and asteroids made of? And what is the difference between them all? 

Meteors or ‘shooting stars’ light up our skies while meteorites even manage to flame through our atmosphere before hitting Earth.

What’s out there in space lurking close to the Earth and is it going to hit us?

What would you see at the furthermost edge of the Solar System as you finally left the Sun behind?

Tour the Solar System with our essential facts and figures.