Meteor Showers are caused by meteors. Meteors are actually pieces of rock that have broken off a comet and continue to orbit the Sun. The Earth travels through the comet debris in its orbit. As the small pieces enter the Earth's atmosphere, friction causes them to burn up. A meteor that does not completely burn up in the atmosphere, but actually crashes into the earth instead, is then called a meteorite.
The Perseid meteor shower, usually the best meteor shower of the year, peaks in August. Over the course of an hour, a person watching a clear sky from a dark location might see as many as 100 meteors. Meteors are also called "Shooting Stars".
Because the debris from many of the comet trails passes through or near the orbits of other planets in our solar system, a meteorite may include material from other planets or their moons. Some meteorites are heavy. They contain metals from other worlds.
Image : 19th century engraving of the Perseids