Smithsonian Geologist Liz Cottrell answers your questions in the second season of the National Museum of Natural History’s YouTube series, “The Dr. Is In.”

What Is Hotter Than the Sun?

Get the facts from Smithsonian geologist Liz Cottrell in the latest episode of "The Doctor Is In."

New research claims to have found the earliest evidence of a person being killed by meteorite. This photo depicts a meteorite entering Earth's atmosphere during the Leonid meteor shower in November 2002.

Archivists Find the Oldest Record of Human Death by Meteorite

The 1888 historical account is likely the first ever confirmed case of a human being struck dead by an interstellar interloper

An image of the April 2012 Lyrid meteor shower raining down on Earth, taken from the International Space Station.

How To Watch April’s Lyrid Meteor Shower From Home

Though not as plentiful as the Perseids in summer, the Lyrids can serve up some serious fireballs

A new type of aurora, called auroral dunes, produces horizontal, undulating stripes of green that resemble mounds of sand on a beach.

A New Type of Aurora Ripples Across the Sky in Horizontal Green ‘Dunes’

Originally observed by citizen scientists, the unusual light show might help researchers better understand a poorly studied layer of the atmosphere

Dust-rich outflows of evolved stars similar to the pictured Egg Nebula are plausible sources of the large presolar silicon carbide grains found in meteorites like Murchison.

Meteorite Grains Are the Oldest Known Solid Material on Earth

The oldest dust sample, perhaps 7 billion years old, predates the formation of our planet and the sun

The Quadrantids meteor shower, though fleeting, is famous for its especially bright, colorful "fireballs"

How to Catch the Quadrantids, the First Major Meteor Shower of the 2020s

This cosmic light show will peak in the predawn hours of January 4

In the hubbub after the meteorite strike, Ann Hodges became a minor celebrity. Photographs of her bruise and the damage to her home appeared in Life magazine in an article entitled, “A Big Bruiser From the Sky.”

In 1954, an Extraterrestrial Bruiser Shocked This Alabama Woman

Ann Hodges remains the only human known to have been injured by direct impact of a meteorite

Harvard astronomers theorize that a meteor that struck Earth's atmosphere in 2014 could have been from another solar system, judging by what scientists know about 'Oumuamua, an interstellar object that zipped through our solar system in 2017. (An artist's depiction of 'Oumuamua is seen here.)

An Interstellar Meteor May Have Collided With Earth in 2014

Researchers have identified an object that, they theorize, was traveling too fast to have originated within our solar system

Scientists Find a Tiny Speck of Comet Inside a Meteorite

The little fragment found in Antarctica was protected from the elements and preserves the chemical signature of the early solar system

Using Landmine Detectors, Meteorite Hunt Turns Up 36 Space Rocks in Antarctica

The scientists had a hunch that more meteorites were hidden a foot below the ice—they were right

A Meteor Struck the Moon During Sunday’s Total Eclipse

It may be the first time that such an event was documented from Earth

A polarized-light microscopy image (in background) of a section from the Allende meteorite is one-thousandth of a millimeter thin.

The Oldest Material in the Smithsonian Institution Came From Outer Space

Decades after the Allende Meteorite plunged to Earth, scientists still mine its fragments for clues to the cosmos

A Geminid meteor shower in 2012.

How to Spot This Year’s Spectacular Geminids Meteor Shower

A beautiful celestial display is due to take place starting on the night of December 13

Massive Impact Crater Found Under Greenland's Ice

Radar scans and sediment samples indicate a large meteorite blasted through the ice sheet between 3 million and 12,000 years ago

A view of the Perseid meteor shower over Northern Ireland in 2017.

Why This Year's Perseid Meteor Shower Promises to Be Especially Dazzling

Thanks to the moon’s conspicuous absence, those looking up at peak viewing hours will see 60-70 shooting stars every hour

Noctilucent clouds.

Climate Change Is Responsible for These Rare High-Latitude Clouds

A study shows that methane emissions are responsible for the increase of noctilucent clouds, which glow eerily at night

Marc Fries examines a magnetic board looking for iron particles recovered from the sea floor.

A Research Ship Is Hunting Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington

The research ship E/V Nautilus is combing through samples and sediment hoping to recover the first space rock from the ocean floor

Artist's concept of a near-Earth object.

An Unexpected Asteroid Buzzed by Earth Last Sunday

The space rock is one of the largest ever to come in such close proximity to our planet

A piece of the Almahata Sitta in Sudan

Diamonds Trapped in Strange Meteorite Came From Solar System's Earliest Planets

Impurities in the diamonds could only have formed within a planet the size of Mercury or Mars

How to Catch a Glimpse of This Weekend's Lyrid Meteor Shower

Conditions are expected to be favorable, and experts say the shower might produce as many as 18 meteors every hour

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