shooting starts are actually not stars at all ( a star hurdling into our atmosphere would be quite catastrophic). They are typically fragments of rock or other debris that have made its way into the atmosphere – this is called a meteoroid. They are visible because they are being burned up in our atmosphere and their intense heat causes a glow; the short-lived light trail is known as the meteor. If they make their way to the ground, the remaining debris is called a meteorite.
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