Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley
A meteor, or shooting star, is a streak of light in the sky caused by a piece of dust or rock from space burning up in Earth’s atmosphere. Space rocks that hit Earth are called METEORITES.
In a meteor shower, we see more meteors than usual coming from one patch of sky. Most showers take place on the same date every year—the Orionids, for example, are in October, when Earth passes through the dusty trail of Halley’s Comet.
A meteorite is a lump of space rock or metal, usually from an asteroid, that hits the surface of Earth, often leaving a crater.