Hast thou ever seen a shooting star at night? Hath thou make a wish to said star. Did it come true? Well even if your wish did come true, I hate to break it to you, but you weren't wishing to a falling star. You made a wish to a Meteoroid.
Meteoroids are rocks in space that tend to sometimes hang out in the asteroid belt. It is not an Asteroid however for it is smaller than an asteroid. The difference between Asteroids and Meteoroids is hazy but the working scale for meteoroids is that its measurement are from 100 micrometers to 33 feet across. Not very large alot in terms of Astronomical objects are concerned. If an object of the same substance falls under these limits are classified as micrometeoroids or interplanetary dust. The substance that meteoroids consist of are nickel(ni) and Iron(fe). Meteoroids come in three leagues; Iron, Stone and Stony-Iron.
Meteors are what you make a wish to at night. No a shooting star is not a star, but a meteor. I know, bummer right? Meteors are meteoroids, the difference is that its gleaming and luminous. Meteors are not only Meteoroids but are likewise Asteroids, Comets and micrometeoroids. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, a meteor, in order to be classified as a Meteor, has to gain entrance into Earth's atmosphere. This is why meteors are also called falling stars, since they are literally falling into Earth. Back when Earth was young and with Aloha, meteors would constantly collide with Earth which formed carters on Earth that we see today. One theory behind I most famous satellite, The Moon, is that i was once a Meteor that hit Earth and became a Moon, or that a meteor hit Earth, broke off a piece of it and formed Luna; The Moon. Also The mass extinction of The Dinosaurs was to believed to be caused by an Asteroids which entered Earth's Atmosphere, i.e. a Meteor.
A lot of things we see in the night sky are absolutely marvelous and spectacular. One of those things is a Meteor Shower. The Action in the sky known as a Meteor Shower is when a conglomeration of meteors radiate and stream across the sky. The Meteors typically come from Comets whose pieces were torn off and pulled into Earth's Atmosphere. This causes quite the spectacle to see.
A meteorite, like a Meteor enters Earth's atmosphere all the same, the only deviation being that a Meteorite actually strikes The Earth's surface. As was said earlier about Early Earth, The Moon and Dinosaurs, these events were not by all meteors but more pointedly all meteorites. Not all meteors hit Earth, but by definition, all meteorites hit Earth; otherwise it wouldn't be called a meteorite but just a meteor.
So let's go over it in summary one more time. A Meteoroids is like an Asteroids, just not as big. A Meteor can be a Meteoroids or asteroid or comet but it enter Earth atmosphere. Finally a Meteorite is a Meteor, but the difference is it makes it to the Earth's Surface; glad to clear that up simply. For every million square kilometers on Earth, 36 to 166 meteorites larger than 10 grams hit Earth every year. A weird thing to think about since we never really hear about it. It happen a lot even though 90 to 95 present of Meteors never even become Meteorites. We often think that we are safe from space stuff here on Earth, that nothing from space can kill us. But, to put it directly, we are not are sure of our safety from space as we think. Our days are numbered nonetheless and unless we have an execution date set for us, we simply do not know when that count will reach to zero. Knowing this, we should not live our lives as though it were a commodity; and we should not seek endless pleasure with bread and circuses; but that we should in fact live with a purpose. We should live to create a legacy for ourselves and leave a mark on this Earth. This gives us reason in life and even if we die unexpectedly, we do not die with regret for we hath lived a purposeful and fulfilling life.
'Astronomy' page explores aspects of Astronomy, Philosophy, Spacelore and other topics about The Universe!