A meteoroid is a dust-to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another planet's) atmosphere is called a meteor, or a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower.
When a meteor enters the Earth's atmosphere it is traveling at a very high rate of speed (65,000 miles per hour) and gets very hot (up to 3,000 degrees F). Hot
enough for atmospheric gases to be ionized (atoms gaining or losing electrons) creating a streak in the sky.