Meteorology is the study of time and the Earth’s atmosphere, but doesn’t it study meteors? Or does he do it?
CHARLOTTE, NC – The study of the weather and the Earth’s atmosphere is called meteorology. But where does the meteor part come from?
The term meteorology has the whole history deriving from the Greek word meteor which means any phenomenon that is high in the sky.
Around 340 BC, the famous philosopher Aristotle wrote a treatise entitled Meteorology. This is the first record of the study of what is in the sky and has been accepted as an accurate weather theory for nearly 2,000 years. But in the 17th century, scientific meteorology was born.
that of Aristotle Meteorology included shooting stars or “meteors” in his writings which are now separated into astronomy.
REMARK: A meteor (according to astronomy) is a small body of matter that actively burns in our atmosphere (shooting star). A meteorite is what is left of a meteor when it hits earth and a meteoroid is a small “body” moving outside of our solar system that has not yet become a meteor.
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It also contained notes of geology and oceanography which were incorporated into the work.
But meteorology technically studies meteors.
The old definition according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is
1: an atmospheric phenomenon (such as lightning or snowfall)
So, snow, rain, clouds, fog are all classified as hydrometeors because they are made from water.
- Lightning is called a electrometeor
- Dust and smoke in the atmosphere are a lithometeor
- A rainbow is a photometeor
So, even if we don’t study the meteor we know most often in our skies, the name Meteorology is theoretically appropriate.
With WCNC Charlotte, I’m meteorologist Chris Mulcahy and we’re all a little more weather-conscious now.
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