A meteor apparently flew over Switzerland and Austria on Sunday night.
The event was captured on video.
So, what differentiates a meteor from a meteorite or even an asteroid?
“Little chunks of rock and debris in space are called meteoroids. They become meteors — or shooting stars — when they fall through a planet’s atmosphere; leaving a bright trail as they are heated to incandescence by the friction of the atmosphere. Pieces that survive the journey and hit the ground are called meteorites,” says NASA. “Meteoroids become meteors — or shooting stars — when they interact with a planet’s atmosphere and cause a streak of light in the sky. Debris that makes it to the surface of a planet from meteoroids are called meteorites.”
According to NASA, meteorites can greatly vary in size. They can be “tiny grains to large boulders. One of the largest meteorite found on Earth is the Hoba meteorite from southwest Africa, which weighs roughly 54,000 kg (119,000 pounds),” the space agency says.
Meanwhile, asteroids are objects that orbit the sun but are too small to be classified as planets. “Tens of thousands of these minor planets are gathered in the main asteroid belt, a vast doughnut-shaped ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids that pass close to Earth are called near-earth objects,” NASA says.