Meteors are small roaming pieces of solid matter that are unevenly scattered in the Solar System. During the course of the Earth’s revolution, some of them come closer to the Earth. As they are pulled by the Earth’s gravity, they enter the Earth’s atmosphere with great velocity. The friction of the mass with the air causes a great heat, and as a result, they burn out. From the Earth they look like streaks of light and are thus called ‘Shooting Stars’. Usually the whole Meteor is completely destroyed in the process, and falls on the ground in the form of fine dust.
However, some Meteors are large enough and reach the ground before they burn away. These unburned parts of Meteors are known as ‘Meteorites’. When several meteoroids strike the Earth simultaneously, it is called a ‘Meteor Shower’.
In the month of February 2013, the Chelyabinsk Meteor, a huge asteroid entered the atmosphere over Russia. It was broken apart about 24 km above the ground and generated a tremendous shock wave equivalent to a 500 kiloton explosion, which injured approximately 1600 people.