Meteors occur when rocky or icy particles impact Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate, producing streaks of light, often bright and sometimes colorful.  The particles can range from sand grains to rocks of substantial size.

This may be a great year to see summertime meteors.

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A Primer on Meteor Showers

Typically, meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through particle clouds left by the passage of a comet.  The particles burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in a brief streak of light.  The particles can range in size from dust to 33 feet in diameter.

The terms “meteor,” “meteoroid,” and “meteorite” are related, but are not identical terms.