Did you ever see a "shooting star"? What you really saw was a meteor burning up in the Earth's atmosphere. A meteor is made up of bits of dust and rock that broke away from colliding asteroids, comets, or planets. Most of these chunks of rock and metal burn up in the Earth's atmosphere and become meteoroids. If they reach Earth's surface we call them meteorites.

Image credits: main image: courtesy of AMNH; Denton Ebel: AMNH.