The formation and evolution of meteor showers and shooting stars

Meteor showers appear when crumbs of dust (meteoroids) from asteroids or comets enter Earth’s atmosphere at very high speeds. During their journey through the atmosphere, meteors rub against air particles, creating friction and heat. The heat then vaporizes most meteors, resulting in bright streaks of light across the sky, or shooting stars.

Dust and particles perpetually bombard Earth from all directions occasionally resulting in solitary meteors. There also are regularly timed “meteor showers” when astronomers can make better predictions about how many meteors will hit Earth’s atmosphere, and from what direction.