Shooting stars are not stars but are ‘meteors’ entering the atmosphere of the earth from outer space. Pieces of rock, some big and some small are floating everywhere in space. Some of these are attracted towards the earth and because of the gravity, approach earth at a speed of up to 50 miles per second! we can see them when they enter our atmosphere because they leave a trail of light behind them while coming down. Because of their tremendous speed, the friction with the air heats them up until they glow like stars. They are a beautiful sight to look at, but you have to be quick to see them because they usually don’t last more than a second or two before they burn up completely and disappear. Most of the meteors disintegrate like this but some of them, the larger ones, do land on earth, and when they do, we call them meteorites.