Originally Posted by Surfermom
Interestingly, most meteors, most likely including the one in the video, are very small. The vast majority are around the size of a grain of sand up pto the size of a marble.
Even though they are tiny, meteors light up the sky because of their speed - about 5-50 miles per second. When they hit the molecule-rich atmosphere, friction causes the temperatures of the object to reach as high as 1,600, to 1,700 degrees C, causing the rock to disintegrate. The trail of the very fine particles at high temperatures are what we see, which can be up to a few meters wide and a mile or more long.
For a space object to be an asteroid, it has to be 100 meters or more in length. For a meteor to become a meteorite, it has to touch the ground.
The brightest, most spectacular and longest lasting one I ever saw was on a trip across the Pacific in the middle on the night. As everyone else's shades were drawn, so I suspect I was the only human who observed it. It was a remarkable experience.