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Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Snowballs Entering The Earth's Atmosphere?
News story originally written on June 20, 1997

The Polar spacecraft has just found snowballs in space. We usually think of snowballs being in our backyard during wintertime, but these snowballs are flying into the Earth's atmosphere.

These snowballs can be as large as a small house! Can you imagine trying to throw a snowball that big? They are not dangerous to humans on Earth, because the snowballs break apart while they are still very far away from us.

These snowballs are entering the atmosphere at a rate of 5-30 snowballs per minute, or thousands of snowballs in a given day. That's more snowballs than you could make even during a long winter day!

Last modified July 18, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA