A shooting star is actually an meteoroid entering the atmosphere. The visible tail of a shooting star is made by the meteoroid as it burns in the atmosphere. Though most shooting stars burn up upon entering the atmosphere, If the meteoroid is large enough it will make it to the earth’s surface where it is then defined as a meteor.
Technically no. A shooting star is another name for a meteroid that is burning up as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere (leaving a streak of light behind it). Meteroids can be as small as a piece of sand or as big as a boulder sized rock. If the pieces are smaller than a piece of sand, they’re known as interplanetary dust. If they’re larger than a boulder, they’re known as asteroids and the streak an asteroid makes entering the atmosphere is called a fireball or bolide. Although it rarely happens, if any of the meteroid passes through the atmosphere, it gets labeled as a meteorite.
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