As many as 100 million meteoroids can enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day. People do not usually see the meteoroids during the day, because their light only lasts a short time (usually only a few seconds). Patient people can sit and watch the sky for hours and see dozens of meteoroids. The only way to see meteoroids easily is at night. Space is too dark to see the small meteoroids. In August, 1972, a meteor lasting 100 seconds (longer than most) lit up the sky over Jackson Lake, Wyoming. The meteor left a tail stretching over 915 miles.
Meteors come from two main objects - comets and asteroids. When comets get too close to the Sun, they lose dust and rocks. The dust and rocks become meteors. A meteor is the streak of light occurring when a meteoroid manages to survive Earth’s atmosphere, but burns up before hitting the ground. Meteors are found everywhere there are larger bodies (planets, moons, or other asteroids) that collide. The largest meteorite ever to have been found was discovered by the Inuit Eskimos in Cape York, Greenland. If an average-sized fifth grader stood with his arms raised above his head, the meteorite would be about three feet higher than that. The Inuit worshiped this rock from the sky.