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Name:  Bob
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About how fast does a meteoroid travel?

Shooting stars are meteors. Most burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. The largest hit the surface of the Earth, called a meteorite, and may form a crater like the one in Arizona. Really bright meteors are also called "fireballs."


Update: July 2008
Technically speaking, shooting stars are “meteors”. In other words, during the time it is visible, it is a meteor. Before it reaches earth it is called a meteoroid. If it does in fact reach the earth intact, it is then called a “meteorite”, however very few end in that fate, so most are simply “meteors”. Meteors burn up in the atmosphere, as they are typically only the size of a grain of sand.

A common misconception is that air friction heats the meteor up, whereas it is actually “ram pressure”. That is, air molecules being rapidly compressed directly in front of the meteor particle.

But to answer your question, they usually vaporize and uncommonly may land on the ground.

* Plait, Philip (2002), “Top 5 Cosmic Myths”

P. Bridges

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