This image is a composition of 33 Leonid meteors captured overnight from Nov. 18 to 19, 2001.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Koen Miskotte)

Meteor showers are the occasional reminder that the solar system is full of dirty and icy clumps, but you wouldn’t describe them that way when you see them shining across the night sky. 

These light shows in Earth’s celestial canopy show off just how dynamic and active our universe really is, with their dazzling flashes appearing faster than any other object in the night sky, like the movement of constellations or the passing shadow of a lunar eclipse.