Meteors result from comets and sometimes from asteroids. Meteors are usually dust particles that form the dust tail of a comet. The comet moves around the sun together with its dust tail and when the comet disappears, it leaves the dust particle moving round the sun. When the orbit of the meteor intersects with that of the earth that is when the meteorite enters the earth. Meteors are viewed as a meteor shower rather than individually (Jones, & Hanson, 2006).
A meteor shower occurs when a numerous meteors radiate from a single point in the sky. The shower occurs when meteoroids moving at elevated speed enter the earth’s atmosphere. Meteors are very small and a single meteor is smaller than a grain of sand. Usually most of them fragment before they even fall on the earth’s surface. However, because of light pollution in many places many people are not able to see meteorite showers.
A meteoroid is an asteroid that is out in space while a meteor is a meteorite is meteor is an asteroid in the earth’s atmosphere. Finally, a meteorite is the name given to an asteroid when it reaches the earth’s surface. In terms of size meteoroids are usually the size of pebbles but the biggest known meteoroids are the size of boulders. Meteorites have a distinct mineral composition; minerals such as iridium which are rarely present in other earth rocks are found in meteorites.
There is mounting anxiety that meteor showers can cause death. However, according to Trigo (2008) during the past 10 years the Spaceguard survey has found out asteroids that would hardly fall on the earth’s surface for the next 100 years. In conclusion even though deadly meteorite showers have been reported in the past, research shows that in our lifetime; there is a risk of less than 1 percent of small meteorites and a much lower risk for the big-sized ones striking the earth’s surface.