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A meteor is a piece of stone and/or iron traveling through space that moves through the earth's atmosphere. While still outside the atmosphere, it is known as a meteoroid.
Many meteors of differing sizes are moving about the solar system - they range from small particles to several tons. Scientists think a billion meteoroids a day come into the atmosphere. They experience friction due to running into or rubbing against materials in the atmosphere. When they reach 50 to 75 miles or 80 -120 kilometers. from the earth's surface, they glow because of friction and are referred to as shooting stars,² or falling stars. Most of these meteoroids die out before they reach the earth. The ones that reach the ground are called meteorites.