You're lucky to see one in or near a city once a year. On virtually any night of the year, you may expect to see one or two every hour in a dark sky, especially between just before midnight and just before dawn.
The chances of seeing a shooting star increase with how clear your night is. When the moon is out, its light interferes with your view of the stars so they appear dimmer than they actually are. The more moonlight there is, the fewer stars you'll be able to see. But during a total lunar eclipse, when the moon is completely covered by Earth's shadow, you won't be able to see any stars at all.
Shooting stars are flashes of light caused by particles from explosions reaching the earth before they reach the moon. As these particles enter our atmosphere they ionize molecules of air, which glows with an intense blue-green color when struck by sunlight. This is why nights with no clouds show up as bright green on some parts of Earth.
The particles also cause electrical charges to form in the atmosphere. When these charges reach the ground they create sparks that emit light of various colors, depending on the material of which they are made.
Any viewer may expect to see between two and seven meteors per hour under a dark sky at any time of year. If there are no clouds in the sky, then around 10 degrees north or south of the horizon and especially when viewing from the plains or desert, many more will be visible. Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through a cloud of debris from a comet or asteroid. The debris burns up as it enters the atmosphere, creating an array of bright lights across the sky.
The number of shooting stars you see is determined by how far away they are and how long you can stay awake! Shooting stars are flashes of light caused by particles from exploding meteoroids burning up as they enter the atmosphere. If you watch carefully, you should be able to see several flashes every second as the particles cross the face of the moon or another dark spot on the sky. The further away something is, the brighter it appears in comparison to nearby objects. So even though you cannot see Earth's surface, you are still likely to see some of its activity at night!
Stars are luminous bodies that emit energy as light. Stars are usually defined as having temperatures sufficient to produce hydrogen atoms (which are the most common element in the universe) via nuclear fusion reactions.
On any given night, depending on our luck, we can view one to two shooting stars each hour, but on specific days, they appear far more often and many more can be seen. When this happens, it is referred as as a meteor shower.
Meteor showers are when the Earth passes through a cloud of dust and debris from a comet or asteroid. As we pass through this material, it burns up in sunlight to create these bright streaks across the sky.
Comets are objects that form when leftover bits and pieces of other planets or solar systems collide and break up, forming a large nucleus made of rock and metal. They are typically round or oval in shape and can be several miles in diameter. A meteor is just what it sounds like: a small object passing through space. Although most meteors are less than 1 kilo (2.2 pounds), some reach speeds of over 50,000 km/h (30,000 mph).
When these fragments hit Earth's atmosphere, they burn up due to air resistance. The amount of energy released depends on how much material is involved and reaches maximum intensity immediately after impact.
Shooting stars are visible if you're not looking towards the moon or another light-polluted area of the sky. If you do see one, try and watch it fade away.
There is one lovely light in 2020 that we may not see again for a long time. On December 21, it will be visible in the night sky. Visibility will increase as you go north. It's expected to disappear around April 24, 2040.
The Christmas Star is an annual event when the Moon is over the Earth and reaches its maximum elongation. At this time, it is farthest from the Earth. Since it takes about five days for information to travel between the two bodies, we don't know how far away the Moon is until a few days before it reaches its maximum elongation. Therefore, we need to estimate how much farther it can get between now and then.
We can do this by looking at how far away it was during other events in its orbit. For example, if we look at what date it reached its closest approach to the Earth (perigee), then we know how far it can go between now and then. In this case, it reached perigee on January 3rd this year so it can reach up to 365 days or almost half of its orbit before returning.
Every day, millions of such particles collide with the atmosphere (I mean day and night). However, because you can only see them at night and can only view a tiny portion of the sky at a time, you should expect to see a shooting star every 10 to 15 minutes when stargazing. This is on a typical night. During the day, the clouds cover most of the sky so you wouldn't be able to see any more stars than you could during the night.
The brightest star-like objects in the night sky are not stars but planets. Jupiter is by far the biggest planet and it takes about 12 hours for its center of gravity to fall below 6,000 miles above the surface of Earth. So if you watched continuously you would eventually see it descend. The other planets are much fainter and even though they all have moons those moons are usually too small to see from Earth.
Stars are so bright because they're very hot - thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. They emit all wavelengths of light, but our eyes are most sensitive to red because that's what blood looks like when it's heated up. Stars die out after burning through their fuel and collapsing under their own weight. Some explode as supernovas and some aren't quite heavy enough for this to happen. But either way, they leave nothing behind except maybe a little neutron star or black hole.
Stars are scattered throughout the galaxy. We just don't know where because we can't see them against the dark background.