Humans Have Always Marveled at the World Around Us
by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 11
A natural phenomenon is something that happens on its own in the universe. It is not caused by humans. A phenomenon can be as small as a storm or as big as a comet in space.
Common phenomena that occur in space are comets and meteorites that travel near Earth. A comet is an icy solar system body that releases gases as it travels close to the sun. It can periodically be seen from Earth. A meteorite is broken bits of comets and asteroids that fall to Earth. The biggest recorded meteorite that fell into Earth was found in Namibia, South Africa in 1920, it measured nine feet long and weighed 60 tons.
Something that you might see in movies can be the northern lights or the aurora borealis. Their vari-colored bands of light can be seen across the sky in the polar region and are caused by particles from the sun reaching the Earth's magnetic field.
An example of phenomena that happen on Earth are tornados, hailstones and waterspouts. A tornado looks like smoke coming out of a chimney. Its spiraling winds might reach over 300 miles per hour. A water spout is similar to a tornado in which it is made out of water and consists of a tall spinning column of watery mist. The highest waterspout recorded was about 4,600 feet long in the coast of New South Wales, Australia in 1898. Hailstones are formed when water droplets in storm clouds freeze and fall to Earth. The heaviest hailstones fell in Bangladesh in 1986 and killed 92 people.
Many of these natural phenomena can be scary, but some such as the northern lights are not as frightening and exist as beauties of nature. Natural phenomena can happen in different places and times so you can't tell when they're going to occur as humans do not have control of these natural phenomena.
[Source: The Childrens Fact Finder]