Every year, the Earth passes through debris paths left by comets hurtling past the Sun. Tiny particles burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. We see them as bright streaks across the night sky and name them “shooting stars,” intense streaks of light across the night sky, caused by small bits of interplanetary rock and debris called meteoroids. Traveling at thousands of miles an hour, meteoroids quickly ignite, searing in the atmosphere’s friction, 30 to 80 miles above the ground. Most are destroyed during entry; the rare few that survive and hit the ground are known as meteorites.