What is the difference between a meteor and a shooting star?

None, but the terms can sometimes be confusing. A meteoroid is a rock in spaceit can be any size, from microscopic to many meters across. A meteor is the same rock falling through Earth's atmosphere, creating a streak of light, sometimes also called a “shooting star” after the white-hot glow produced by the heat of friction between the meteor and the air. Fragments of meteors that survive the trip through the atmosphere and land on Earth's surface are called meteorites. Some of Earth's craters were caused by meteorites, but eventually Earth's wind and rain erode the evidence of most craters. Because the Moon has no air to rub against, meteors do not burn up before hitting the Moon's surface, which is one reason why the Moon has lots of craters.


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